Neelam Sandhu, Senior Vice President, Head of Elite Customer Success at BlackBerry, Explains How Autonomous Monitoring Solutions Can Help Fight Climate Change
Autonomous monitoring can help leverage actionable information about climate events.
Water is essential for healthy ecosystems and human survival, but it can also be life threatening. Almost 30% of the world’s population does not have access to safe drinking water and 1.5 billion people are at risk of flooding. Climate change exacerbates both of these problems.
The summer of 2021 saw countries around the world hit by devastating and unprecedented flooding. While we cannot look back on our actions, which created the climate catastrophe we face today, we can work by bringing technology and people together to prevent the situation from deteriorating further and starting to reverse. the damage we have caused.
Technology adapted to a crisis
To respond effectively to climate events, agencies, cities and, in some cases, individual countries need a centralized, secure, intelligent and reliable communications infrastructure to enable collaboration.
A critical event management platform can ingest critical event information from cyber, computing, weather, physical security, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensor systems, as well as other channels. Once a crisis has been identified, it can invoke pre-defined alert response protocols to bring together the appropriate response teams to intervene collaboratively.
Once these next steps have been agreed upon, the platform can then be used to initiate communications with targeted audiences through pre-configured communication channels. This includes considering life safety and gathering situational intelligence as the crisis develops and through to the recovery phase.
The adoption of new technology for incident planning and response, which leverages a range of personal and public delivery methods, is two-way and aggregates multiple data sources, improves response and resiliency, and contributes to save lives.
In the digital age, we must move quickly into the future of emergency management, where real-time communications connect to any endpoint, securely.
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An approach focused on prevention
As a society living with the results of climate change, we must start leveraging autonomous technologies to ensure public safety. Technologies that monitor the environment for signs of imminent danger, such as flood hazards, and proactively alert communities to the risks so that timely action can be taken. These technologies collect large amounts of data on an ongoing basis and take intelligent action based on the data.
Collaboration through the cold
Last year, Texas was the hardest hit of any state in the US by winter storms and freezing temperatures, caused by an “upside down” polar vortex. The state has experienced widespread blackouts, with many people forced to evacuate their homes following burst pipes and blackouts. Deploying a widespread corporate alert, to send a weather alert to those potentially affected, has been critical in preventing a severe weather event from turning into a humanitarian crisis. It helped many workers during the cold winters in Texas last year.
A colleague of mine found himself without electricity and had to deal with broken pipes in his apartment. He and his wife were forced to evacuate, but had nowhere to go – hotels were full and they had no family nearby. He contacted his manager and asked if they could stay in the BlackBerry office that night.
Outside, the situation continued to deteriorate as critical infrastructure broke down, unable to withstand the extreme temperatures. The blackout continued, now associated with widespread ‘boil water’ advisories. Organizations using an alert system were able to explain the whereabouts of hundreds of employees.
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Protect the future of our planet
Over the past eighteen months, communities around the world have been affected by a series of major events, from flooding to forest fires and a pandemic. It is clear that all organizations must be prepared to adapt and respond to planned and unplanned incidents. Having a critical event management strategy and solution can save lives and keep your organization running smoothly.