Earth kills an average of 600,000 people a year through natural disasters, especially floods, storms, droughts, and heat waves. So far, death remains inevitable during these events, but that doesn’t mean communities and states don’t prepare for them. After all, the goal is and will always be the preservation of life.
Fortunately, there’s a significant improvement in disaster response and management, thanks to the more practical, helpful technologies such as GPS.
What Is GPS?
GPS stands for global positioning system, a standard feature found in modern vehicles. It works using the principle of triangulation (although in a more sophisticated manner). Simply put, the technology relies on the 33 active GPS satellites orbiting the planet at 20,000 kilometers above the surface. With six satellites in view at all times, triangulation is easy as now your GPS can calculate latitude, north, and east, all of which determine your location in relation to another point (e.g., your destination).
GPS in Natural Disaster Response
The concept of GPS makes it an invaluable tool in disaster response and management. For example, the United States Geological Survey uses it to monitor the unpredictable nature of earthquakes. Although it still cannot determine when earthquakes can occur, the technology provides information on fault motion.
Besides earthquakes, GPS can also play an active role in forecasting flooding. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA are all working together in developing an accurate flood forecasting tool that combines GPS with barometers and accelerometers.
Today, many businesses are now using GPS to alert, keep track, and eventually provide support or save workers who are on the field during a natural disaster. In the process, vulnerable employees receive medical support from the closest first responders or alert their employer if they’re in danger even if they don’t have access to a cellular signal.
Because of the significance of GPS, companies and disaster reduction teams may want to invest in a GPS generator like CAST Navigation, which simulates how GPS works and gives a better idea how strong the signal is within a particular area. This information can supplement management plans.