Public safety officials are encountering new and unforeseen challenges as the rate of natural disasters continues to rise and communities across the country are being devastated by these storms. The need to be able to notify entire communities of severe weather and to have additional information on those at higher risk has never been greater.
When critical infrastructure fails, it becomes nearly impossible to aid those who lack the means of evacuating on their own. This results in rescue operations that take longer to plan and execute, and pose increased risks to first responders and residents due to the lack of information on the number of affected residents or the location of those who need additional assistance.
In recent years, the number natural disasters has skyrocketed exposing a gap in emergency communication and vulnerable populations which require additional assistance during emergencies. The rate of increase in “superstorms” such as Hurricane Sandy has caused emergency managers to rethink how they are preparing for these events with a focus on communications to the public and the allocation of resources. According to the Census Bureau, the most common disabilities reported are those that effect mobility. Moreover, over half of persons aged 85 or older live alone and are unable to drive. These two groups alone pose a serious problem in the event of an evacuation and are only a fraction of those struggling with mobility disabilities.
New technologies that provide 9-1-1 and public safety officials with the ability to proactively engage the community have had a dramatic effect on mortality rates during these “superstorms.” Identifying at risk populations and providing them with information and assistance when they most need it can make a significant difference, especially in the event of an evacuation or seeking shelter.
Download “Weather Emergencies: Protecting Those at Risk” to learn how 9-1-1 and law enforcement can leverage today’s technology to better protect those at risk during severe weather emergencies.