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Smart Cities are ideal for resisting Natural Disasters

Among their many benefits, Smart Cities can be especially helpful for dealing with major emergencies, such as natural disasters, due to the advantages offered by the interconnectedness of utilities and services via the Internet of Things.

Major natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, the second-costliest hurricane in US history, which hit the coast of the Northeastern US in 2012, can paralyze infrastructure and create a number of problems. In the wake of Sandy, people in New Jersey were left without power for up to two weeks, while at some point during the second day after the storm hit, cell tower signal went down because the backup generators supporting the towers went out of fuel.

Professor Narayan Mandayam, of Rutgers University, has formed a team with colleagues from other universities, to apply for a grant through the National Science Foundation’ s Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP) program.

The aim of the project, which is the second year of a four-year commitment, is to develop the synergistic integration of cyber-physical critical infrastructure, including transportation, wireless systems, water networks and power grids. This includes sharing resources in energy, computation, the wireless spectrum, economic investments, personnel and end-users to correct failures during natural disasters, malicious attacks and day-to-day operations. The researchers will pursue analytical models and algorithms to achieve the goal of resource sharing.

This is where Smart Cities and their interconnected utilities and services can play an important role. The communication between gas, power and water infrastructure, can allow for faster communication between subsystems that can ultimately detect attacks quicker. The interconnectedness between telecommunication platforms can allow emergency personnel to send a text message to anyone in a given area to alert them of the situation and provide them with more information and instructions. In addition, using the same connected platforms, officials can ask users to conserve power and ultimately save bandwidth that can be redirected for more important uses.

The original article can be found here.