How Technology is Changing Disaster Relief

Digital world

Disaster management and relief is a very important area of research for scientist around the world. With changing climatic conditions in various part of the world, the world has become more vulnerable to disasters now. Both natural disasters and human made disasters pose a grave threat to entire humanity and to avoid casualties various steps are being taken by the government around the world or by those at power helping people affected by the disasters. Scientists do believe that technology is a possible and reliable solution to the problems caused by disaster. We need technology to both prevent disasters and to provide reliable and sustained relief after one has occurred. The use of artificial intelligence and other technologies like machine learning can prove to be of great help in disaster relief. Climate change, extreme poverty, financial crisis, food and water shortages, growing population and migration are some of the factors that increase the risk and only worsen the situation after disasters.

However using technological innovation with humanitarian work becomes difficult especially with the diverse variety of disasters taking place. Providing relief and humanitarian support in areas of difficult terrain or inaccessible areas is a great challenge. Also systematic research and the funding required for it is also not sufficient. Carrying out proper pilot run and research activities and mobilizing resources is very difficult without proper funding support.

In times of disasters like earthquakes, tsunami, floods etc. when normal life cycle is completely disturbed and communication means are destroyed, technological innovations are required at that time to overcome these challenges so as to serve those in needs faster and better. Also, using technology like AI can help to gauge the damage to be caused by the disaster in advance and prepare for it beforehand accordingly so as to minimize the effect. The drone programme announced by Google is an example of how technology can be an aid in disaster relief. The drones can be used to drop and supply relief aids like food packets and clothes in affected areas. Similarly technologies which can deliver internet connectivity in hard reach places at the time of disaster can help people inform their known ones about their whereabouts and their situation if they happen to be stuck in a disaster affected area. However all it needs is a lot more research and financial support from institutions around the world so as to see a clear positive change in the way disaster relief programmes are carried out across the world.

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