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Strengthening disaster resilience through communications technology

The success of disaster response is dependent on the quality of communications among all responders, says Motorola Solutions exec.
By Entrepreneur Staff |

 

DISASTER TECH. David Lum, Motorola Solutions' business development director for the Asia-Pacific region, at The 2016 RADSHOW on Disaster Resilience held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Photo courtesy of Motorola Solutions 

 

*This is an edited press release


There are economic costs to the natural disasters hitting the Philippines yearly, and the negative effects persist long after the disaster. For example, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which hit the country in 2013, reportedly brought economic losses worth $6.5 billion to $15 billion. The country remains to be in a vulnerable position, especially now that the threat of The Big One, what observers call the earthquake about to hit Mega Manila, is looming.

 

“While critical preparations will never prevent a natural disaster, effective communications systems will help minimize the disastrous effects on people and property,” said David Lum, business development director for the Asia-Pacific region of communications technology provider Motorola Solutions.

 

In the event of a disaster, government and business continuity is crucial for the country, which is why Lum also recommends that businesses have their own disaster management plans to be able to bounce back from the disaster quickly.

 

 

HOW IT WORKS. Motorola Solutions' WAVE technology will allow different agencies working together in disaster response to communicate better in real-time. Infographic from Motorola Solutions 

 

Disaster resilience through technology

In a bid to strengthen the country’s disaster management capabilities, Motorola Solutions introduced new technology for mission-critical solutions and services. At the recently held 2016 RADSHOW on Disaster Resilience, Lum presented and demonstrated the company’s growing portfolio of radio technologies that can help first responders and relief aid workers better protect themselves and their communities in the aftermath of disaster.

 

“The success or failure of disaster response is highly dependent on the quality of communications among all responders—your communications device cannot fail you because your life and the lives of others depend on it,” Lum added.  

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In 2013, when traditional cellular networks were destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Tacloban was cut off and only two-way radio communications got through. Motorola’s two-way radios have been known for their quality, reliability, and durability, which is why the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company, equipped first responders in Tacloban with new two-way radios to ease in communications.

 

 

SHINY OBJECT.  The LEX L10, an LTE handheld device, is Motorola Solutions' lighter alternative to two-way radios for disaster response. Photo courtesy of Motorola Solutions 

 

The future of disaster response

During disaster relief operations, data and video communications, as well as next-generation solutions, can also improve the way first responders deal with disasters, said Lum. This includes inter-operability networks and drones to help create a clearer, common picture of the aftermath of a natural disaster.

 

“Imagine drones flying over disaster areas, streaming live images, and providing mobile broadband to recovery teams on the field,” said Lum. “While traditional voice communications is essential to emergency management, the future of disaster relief will be transformed by mobile broadband solutions.”

 

Motorola also introduced the WAVE technology, which aims to solve the inter-operability issues that arise from having several agencies involved in disaster management. These agencies, such as police, fire, and rescue departments, often use a variety of communications equipment which operates on different networks.

 

WAVE technology will enable these agencies to effectively communicate and collaborate through voice and data—securely, and in real-time—regardless of the network, carrier, protocol, or device they are using, whether on-premises or on the cloud. This means that even regular smartphones, when configured properly, will be able to connect with radios connected to the WAVE technology through an app downloadable in Google Play or the App Store.

 

Along with WAVE technology is a communications device called the LEX L10, an LTE handheld device which is a lighter alternative to two-way radios. It has a dedicated push-to-talk button for connectivity to radio networks, and also easily connects to Motorola’s WAVE technology. The LEX L10 has an extended battery life, and can survive a 4-foot drop, even on concrete, which makes it for ideal use in different disaster situations—throughout the response, relief, and even the recovery phases.

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For more information on Motorola Solutions products and services, visit www.motorolasolutions.com.

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