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3 Steps that Smart Cities will Help to Combat Natural Disasters
By Eric Hui, Director of Business Development - IoT Ecosystems, Asia Pacific at Equinix
Step 2: Protect for redundancy For facilities like airports, which are the backbone for key economic activities such as tourism, logistics and business travel, extended ‘down time’ can have serious ramifications. While there is a fixed time to rebuild certain infrastructures, a planned redundancy with an agile interconnected model can help reinforce high availability connectivity. For example, a single long route is unfortunately also a single point of failure. Thousands of kilometers of fiber cable make them highly susceptible to damage by storms and result in high levels of latency when exchanging data during natural disasters. Instead, optimizing private connectivity among distributed infrastructures in different locations can help sustain business communications and cloud infrastructure. Equinix data centers host network PoPs for quite a number of ISPs and telcos. This means if any carrier fibers or links are affected, alternate reroute contingencies are in place to achieve redundancy and resiliency requirements. Step 3: Promote data sharing and analysis for recovery Data sharing and analysis are crucial for disaster recovery but currently there are challenges. Firstly, certain data collected by sensors around cities is considered private. Secondly, disaster recovery coordination is usually centralized, meaning that in many ways governments are often on their own when tasked with responding to severe weather events. Although not all data is sharable, the exchange of ‘privacy-removed’ data would be valuable in supporting natural disaster recovery. An example will be recovery after the earthquake strikes in Indonesia. The government can quickly classify emergency levels of affected areas based on the data collected from IoT sensors and interconnect various public data platforms. They can then smartly prioritize, deliver necessities and send rescuing teams to the most impacted areas. Now and beyond Interconnection fundamentally helps a city better prepare for, manage, and recover from a natural disaster. By integrating IoT-based monitoring, private connectivity and distributed infrastructures, governments and businesses can protect people and minimize economic losses during natural disasters. The insights generated also offer smart cities greater ability to enhance city planning and development, as well as the safety of all its citizens.