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How Can RFID and the IoT Help With Natural Disasters?

Posted By RFID Journal, 10.09.2019

What are some uses of Internet of Things technologies in the management of floods and other water-related emergencies?




RFID has been used in several ways during natural disasters. First, it can be utilized to track patients. Often, during a natural disaster, people flee their homes or offices without identification. Doctors treating the injured thus have no way to identify people and record what treatment they received. Using RFID wristbands or badges can allow medical personnel performing triage to quickly identify patients and record what treatment each has received. This prevents a doctor, for instance, from giving a second dose of a medication that a patient has previously received.

Another way in which RFID is used is to track medical equipment and/or inspection kits. With RFID, employees can record which specific items were given to particular workers and ensure that those assets are returned. Finally, it may be possible to track relief supplies. I am unaware of anyone using the technology in this way, but RFID portals could be set up in supply tents and workers could easily inventory medical and relief supplies via handheld readers (generators would be needed to run the equipment if the electrical grid is damaged). This would allow for better management and replenishment of supplies.

Here are a few articles we've published on this topic:

Identifying Patients in Haiti
The Tragedy in Haiti
What Would It Cost to Track People Following a Natural Disaster?
In Haiti, RFID Brings Relief
At Tornado-ravaged Sites, RFID Helps FEMA Contractor Manage Inspectors' Kits

I hope these prove helpful.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal


Eric Gill 2019-10-11 08:35:09 AM
I agree with Mark here in that there is a good case for using RFID (and GPS/GSM devices) for tracking relief supplies. Here at SCT Technology (www.sct-technology.com) we are adapting our military spec tracking solution to provide relief organisations and NGOs with a standalone tracking capability so that when scarce, valuable and critical supplies are moved up country the relief workers can see when the supplies will arrive and equally important monitor the logistic flow to minimise delays and loss.

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