Category: Disaster Response
Natural disasters are devastating, often resulting in loss of life, massive property damage, and damage to the critical infrastructure that powers emergency services. This can prompt public sector organizations to consider building more resilient infrastructure. Such was the case for the 911 system in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, an agency that dispatches for 21 public safety agencies including law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services, and averages over 325 calls for service per day. After a major flood in 2016 knocked out their 911 system, they worked with AWS Partner TailorBuilt Solutions, LLC. to use AWS to become resilient against disaster, reducing service interruptions and improving response times.
Every day, people around the world are impacted by the unexpected – from pandemics, to natural and human-wrought disasters, to economic crises. Technologies like the cloud can empower communities to prepare for and respond to the unexpected so that when a crisis hits, they can continue to advance. AWS works with customers and partners to build software solutions that improve government and nonprofits’ prediction, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities—solutions that are being leveraged across Latin America and the Caribbean.
In a recent disaster response field testing exercise (FTX), the AWS Global Social Impact Solutions (GSI) team developed a prototype cloud architecture and tested it in a search and rescue (SAR) scenario simulating a missing responder crisis. This blog post walks through the SAR simulation and result, and provides an overview of the AWS services and technical architecture components the GSI team used to provide a hybrid edge/cloud COP solution that helped locate the missing team member in the simulated scenario within 20 minutes.
In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, cell towers, power lines, and telephone and internet cable are often damaged or destroyed, limiting the ability for responders to share data and access the internet. The AWS Disaster Response team conducted a field testing operation designed to replicate a common disaster response scenario, to show how to establish an ad-hoc network at field sites with limited connectivity and create a link to an office headquarters to provide access to cloud-based resources and data to responders in the field.
Severe and extreme weather events not only wreak havoc on lives, property and the economy, but the extent of the destruction and devastation left behind can be difficult to map and quantify. Having high resolution imagery of areas devastated by weather events (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and etc.) helps to characterize impacts, formulate needed recovery and response activities, support emergency managers in saving lives, and restart the flow of commerce. NOAA’s data plays a critical role in this process. As part of ASDI, we invited Jena Kent from NOAA’s Big Data Program to share how AWS is helping with disaster response by providing access to aerial data and imagery through open data initiatives.
This year, AWS is a gold sponsor of AI for Good, the action-oriented technology-education platform hosted by the United Nations (UN). The organization is delivering a webinar series to provide best practices around how to adopt AI and ML technologies. With less than 10 years remaining to achieve the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, organizations all over the world are using AWS services to deliver various AI and ML-enabled solutions—from delivering disaster-relief services at the edge to reconnecting telecommunications after a hurricane. We are also helping organizations adopt AI and ML technologies more readily in the areas of computer vision, automatic speech recognition, and natural language process to solve ongoing global challenges.
Organizations face a host of threats to business continuity, from extreme weather events to cyber-attacks to human error. Many turn to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to house their workloads in an environment that can withstand disruptions of any type or scale. IT resilience hinges on developing strong architectural, technological, and operational management. Cloud environments require assembly, execution, and maintenance. Here are five best practices for organizations to build IT resilience.
For public sector organizations, there is no room for service disruption. When faced with a natural disaster, emergency, or cyberattack, these organizations need to continue running mission-critical applications to power essential platforms such as call centers, patient and judicial databases, and online learning sites. A disaster recovery (DR) strategy is necessary for public sector organizations that need to be there for their communities. CloudEndure Disaster Recovery, offered by AWS, can help organizations reduce DR total cost of ownership (TCO) and achieve business continuity.
Last year, we launched the AWS Public Safety and Disaster Response Competency for Consulting Partners, recognizing top APN Advanced and Premier Consulting Partners with proven public sector success and deep technical proficiency. Building on these efforts, today we’re excited to pre-announce the launch of the AWS Public Safety and Disaster Response Technology Competency. Coming later this year, the expansion will include the addition of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) solutions that deliver APN Partner technology in the areas of emergency management operations, justice and public safety applications, infrastructure resilience and recovery, 911 and emergency communications, and public safety and disaster response data and analytics.
At Amazon, we are committed to providing immediate relief and response to global communities impacted by natural disasters. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Disaster Response team plays an important role in this response, and the team has supported customers worldwide in the wake of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and disease outbreaks including COVID-19. We help by bringing our operational and logistics expertise, as well as cloud technology to support our customers and our communities when and where they need it most, working closely with organizations like the American Red Cross.