May 25th 2017 – Busan
In the context of large evacuations, in the wake of natural disasters such as tsunamis or national security threats, it is crucial that authorities have the most accurate and innovative tools to guarantee populations’ safety.
This May 24th, in Busan, Republic of Korea, took place the 2017 Disaster Safety Industry Forum, organized by Busan Municipality, the Korean Disaster Safety Association, the Korean Transportation Technology Promotion Agency and the Korean Disaster Safety Cooperative, to gather industry professionals, academics and citizens for panel talks on the development and trends of the social disaster safety industry. DRFC’s Director, Erel Rosenberg, participated in the forum and introduced LBASense Situation Awareness for Large-Scale Evacuations.
Planning large-scale evacuations often requires rethinking the transportation system, taking into account the weather conditions or organising shelters. Authorities and emergency teams must have all the keys to provide the safest and most organised plans to prevent casualties in moments of panic.
When a catastrophe occurs, telecommunication base stations are at risk of being out of service and, if they are still in operation, the network is likely to collapse, as everyone is trying to reach relatives. Facebook’s Safety Check or Google’s Person Finder show that emergency situational apps are getting more and more prominent but they also require functioning Internet connectivity.
Planning ahead is the key to organising the most efficient security plans, taking into account all possible scenarios and analysing the safest options. This is where IoT and Crowd Analytics offer remarkable prevention insights.
Installing a network of mobile-phone-signal-detecting sensors offers the possibility to understand in advance the current flow of people in the city. These sensors detect mobile phone signals and/or location data. They require power supply, alternatively provided by batteries in case of power outage. Once signals are detected, data is transferred to a Cloud-based server or locally stored on a stand-alone system that does not require Internet connectivity, to avoid data loss due to unsteady networks.
Thanks to this data, urban experts may build trends and activity patterns maps of the city at the deployment sites. During the planning phase, critical parameters such as the expected number of visitors per area can be provided.
Accessing Crowd Analytics insights can be very useful during evacuation simulations to provide data concerning transportation plans. APIs also allow real-time integration with external emergency services.
Emergency Insights, When No Communication Network Is Available
The LBASense Situation Awareness for Large-Scale Evacuations technology is capable of detecting and counting mobile phones even when the mobile network is not operating. Analytics are based on signals that are used for estimating the location of mobile phones.
Once sensors are deployed as part of a citywide network, they offer many crucial capabilities. For example, security teams can track in real-time all mobile devices active within the coverage area of the system, regardless of the mobile phone’s operating system or the Telco provider.
For instance, in case of an earthquake, Emergency management teams can locate volunteers and people who do not carry special tracking equipment other than their phones.
Once the telecommunication infrastructures are back to normal, sensors mounted on cars, helicopters and drones also allow Search and Rescue teams to locate people stuck in rubbles from collapsed houses or onboard small ships lost at sea.
As shown during a fire evacuation in Yeungnam University in October 2015, Crowd Analytics can serve the purpose of making sure all individuals have left a potentially dangerous zone, even before security teams are sent on site.
If you wish to know more about the LBASense Situation Awareness for Large-Scale Evacuations solution, contact us.
Photo credits: Featured image, all rights reserved to KNL, all other images, all rights reserved to DFRC.