Newfound enthusiasm for the latest technologies, such as drones and smartphones, to improve the way aid is provided to people in disasters may be overblown, experts warned on Thursday. Technology is no substitute for sound infrastructure - from transport to telecoms and power networks - that must be built with disaster risks in mind and properly maintained.
Working with local villagers and global experts, Reacción, a team of El Salvadorian experts in electronics, community development and disaster relief, developed an IoT-based early warning system for disasters that has gone global. Villagers can escape mudslides and floods with a system that is battery powered, rugged, affordable and can be used without formal education.
France is responding to its third heat wave of the summer as it seeks to avoid any repetition of the 20,000 deaths which the nation suffered in 2003 when a Europe-wide heatwave claimed 70,000 lives. Since that catastrophe, devastating for women and older persons, in particular, France has initiated a four-phase alert system as part of its meteorological services.