Disasters are not always man-made, but they are always responded to by humans. Responding to even the smallest emergencies today requires complete panoply of skills and occupations and does not include pre-disaster planning and post-disaster recovery.
It’s not a high-paying industry for many, and the effects of stress-related mental health can last for decades, but the main goal of this work – to help people in their greatest need – is attracting many to participate, although it never ends. War. In the last three parts of this series on the future of technology and disaster response, I have focused on the sales cycle of well, technology and especially new products, all of a sudden now the data has collapsed that the Internet of Things (IoT) is running with full power and connectivity to spread that data.
What we haven’t noticed enough so far is the human component: actually knowing how to respond to disasters, as well as what challenges they face and how technology can help them. So in this fourth and final part of the series, we will look at four areas where human and technology intersect in response to disasters and what future opportunities exist in this market: training and development, mental health, public response to disasters and hyper-complex emergencies on our doomsday of the future.
Emergency planning officers from 911 call takers to EMTs and paramedics, and on-the-ground responders working at the epicenter of the storm have a wide range of skills needed to do these tasks well. The key is not only to use call forwarding software or to know how to upload video from a disaster site, but also critically important soft skills:
Communicating precisely, staying sangfroid, increasing agility and proving consistency. The chaos factor cannot be overstated either: each disaster is different.
In most cases there are linear methods of training. To become a software engineer, students can learn some computer science theories, adding voice to some programming exercises (note: your mileage may vary).
To become a physician, aspiring physicians take undergraduate courses in biology and chemistry, go to medical school for two dead years in core physiology and other classes, and then switch to clinical rotations, a residency, and possibly fellowships. But how do you train someone to respond to an emergency?