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Keeping communities safe around floodwaters


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Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent across Australia, with heavy rainfall in Queensland and New South Wales throughout February to April and the October floods in Victoria. Preparing and responding to such events in the future will require systems that can utilise remote data collection and communication to protect people and help make informed decisions.

In order to deliver accurate information and keep people informed during natural disasters, governments need to use the right technology. In recent years, equipment such as advanced sensors, tags and vision-based artificial intelligence (AI) has developed to a point where they can be used in disaster response.

With La Niña continuing to wreak havoc, taking advantage of advanced technologies will ensure local and state governments are well equipped to tackle the next wild weather event.

Finding a system designed for flood response

When it comes to natural disasters, having access to a system that can provide real-time updates to ensure rescue operations are conducted without endangering personnel or civilians is invaluable.

Deploying a surveillance and response system for floods requires technology that can adequately identify the risks, adapt to ever-changing conditions and function remotely.

Spectur offers AI-enabled camera systems that work autonomously to provide accurate information and real-time response during floods.

Spectur Managing Director, Gerard Dyson, said there are a lot of issues flood waters pose for first responders, which require a system designed specifically for dealing with natural disasters.

“How do you get help if you’ve been trapped for three days and your phone is dead?” Mr Dyson said.

“If you were able to see what’s going on and have someone, such as a remote responder, be able to see everything that’s going on, that would give you much greater information and the ability to get help.”

Spectur is the only company that offers robust and proven wireless and solar-powered surveillance and communication technology suitable to assist local and state governments in responding to wild weather, which can make all the difference when disaster strikes.

More than an extra set of eyes

Unlike other surveillance technology available, Spectur systems can not only capture images, but also analyse data and automate warnings to enable real-time response.

Using a combination of cameras and AI, Spectur surveillance solutions can offer a better picture of the situation, instead of just solely providing images for rescue teams to analyse the situation themselves. From flooded roads, to spotting debris, Spectur systems can monitor flood waters and using AI, also identify risks as they appear.

“We can tell how high the water level is and we don’t need a gauge. We can do that just from camera vision,” Mr Dyson said.

“You can detect the amount of damage by analysing the speed at which the flood water moves and the rate at which roads close to know how long you have before you can’t get out of an area. There’s a lot of really useful information that you can use when responding to flood events.”

Spectur’s systems use edge and cloud technology to sense, think and act, autonomously monitoring and responding to data as situations change. AI can interpret images to identify risks and automatically sound an alarm, send out alerts or share information with first responders.

This becomes invaluable for local authorities as these automated analyses and responses take the burden off personnel, allowing them to prioritise work on-the-ground without worrying about gauging water or damage levels by themselves.

In addition, Spectur’s systems are powered by solar, which means if electricity supply has been disconnected, Spectur systems remain fully operational.

Remote communication during disasters

Dealing with natural disasters like floods requires technology that can provide accurate and real-time analysis while working off-the-grid. As flood waters rise, critical infrastructure can be damaged or taken out entirely, so Spectur systems can provide surveillance, warnings and communication without wired electricity or internet.

Using remote two-way communication, first responders can make informed decisions, as well as redirect resources and personnel in response to changing conditions. Authorities can monitor the situation remotely, while also updating people on the ground and broadcasting alerts to the public.

“Not only can first responders tell remotely where the flood level is and how it’s rising, which is incredibly useful from a safety point of view, they will be operating where everything else is knocked out,” Mr Dyson said.

For local governments, a warning system that isn’t reliant on the grid can ensure communities are better prepared to evacuate or mitigate damage throughout a wild weather event, without a lack of information or delays in communication getting in the way.

Stopping looting and associated crime

Unfortunately natural disasters can bring out the worst in some people and make an already devastating situation worse. When people evacuate from flood stricken or even fire-affected areas, this vacancy can attract looters.

Provision of Spectur camera technology that is able to record and time stamp every vehicle or licence plate that enters and leaves an area can act as a very effective deterrent and prosecution tool to criminals that seek to exploit evacuated areas.

Preparing for the next disaster

Utilising AI to get accurate information and remote communication can make a warning system even more powerful. Offering a detailed understanding of a situation as dangerous as flooding will protect not only citizens but also first responders, ensuring rescue and repair operations can run efficiently.

With Spectur’s system, local and state governments can be better equipped to respond to natural disasters, protecting communities for when the next disaster strikes.

For more information on creating safe communities during natural disasters using Spectur’s smart solutions, call 1300 802 960 to talk to our team and find the right solution for your unique onsite challenges.

For more information on using Spectur’s smart solutions to enhance community safety, download our whitepaper Sense, think, act: how smart technology is making communities safer hereor call 1300 802 960 and talk to our team about finding the right solution for your unique onsite challenges.

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