2017 was a year that brought with it deadly natural disasters from forest fires that consumed residential, commercial, and agricultural land to torrential rains, winds, and monumental flooding that devastated homes, neighborhoods, and government buildings. With each disaster, it has become progressively more evident that technological resources have secured ones’ survival. Whether as an individual or as an emergency responder, technology is now, more than ever before, coming to our rescue.
That evidence is readily found in the smartphones that have become one of our everyday accessories. When trapped in our cars by flash flooding, sheltered in our homes damaged by high winds, or isolated by impassable roads or bridges, social media and the apps on our phones may very well make the difference in our survival. Whether it is the tracking app, the communication capabilities or the platforms of social media, there is the ability to reach out to a myriad of rescue networks.
It was social media that brought rescue teams from across the country to the Texas Gulf Coast with boats and manpower; it was emergency response technologies that launched drones to accurately identify critical high-water threats and locate those individuals who were most at risk. And, it was the management reporting technology that afforded emergency responders the ability to collect real time and historical data allowing for the monitoring of pending problems and the execution of a calculated plan to minimize loss of lives.
As we approach still another tropical storm season, be ever mindful of how your technology can best insure your safety and well-being.
Day after day, shift after shift, plant and refinery workers clock-in to sites that may be populated with hazardous materials, stressed production schedules, and an overly-tired workforce. Couple those factors with failed equipment, chemical spills or hazardous acts of Mother Nature, and the formula for accidents and irreparable damage is complete.
Many citizens did not consider the losses that would be incurred by the courthouses in the community. The Courthouse Annex on Cypresswood in northwest Harris County flooded in Harvey’s torrential rains, leaving 3 to 4 feet of water and destroying much of what was inside. That water also flooded the property room, which contained 15,000 pieces of evidence and all of which, Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman. Of that collection, he said some evidence is now missing or was damaged.