Examples of technologists and scientists applying technologies in response to flooding

Rescuers
These are the people who locate and rescue people, animals, or even valuable objects, e.g.

  • First responders use technology and communication devices to find people, then get them to shelter
  • First responders use helicopters or amphibious vehicles and negotiate obstacles to get people to safety.

Medical personnel
These are the people who treat flood victims, including people and animals, e.g.

  • EMTs and paramedics, who provide emergency medical services to those who have been impacted by flooding (including those whose medical conditions have deteriorated due to lack of power)
  • nurses working in nursing homes and hospitals, who often must simultaneously deal with many patients with different conditions who have been impacted by the flood
  • emergency room physicians, who develop triage protocols for treating the most serious cases, and who treat people who suffer life-threatening problems caused by floods
  • veterinarians who treat domestic, farm, and zoo animals that have been impacted

Scientists
Scientists are involved in studying and predicting floods, or the problems caused by floods, e.g. 

  • meteorologists modeling short- and long-term weather events
  • epidemiologists studying disease patterns due to toxic waste and bacteria
  • Earth scientists/geologists, studying how ground water will be affected by the terrain
  • sociologists studying community resiliency in the face of flooding
  • marine biologists, studying how fish behavior (such as spawning) is impacted

Technologists/Engineers
These key professionals create critical technology, sensors, and communications systems, e.g. 

  • app and software developers who provide locations of emergency shelters (for people and animals)
  • developers and operators of robust communications systems that work even when cell phones are out;
  • engineers who develop sensors that tell you how fast the water is rising or what contaminants are in it;
  • engineers who are responsible for water containment and release (barriers, dams)
  • drone developers and operators

Communications specialists/coordinators
Communications coordinators fill an increasingly important role in figuring out how to triage and deploy multiple “responders” during an event where conditions change rapidly, e.g.

  • 911 dispatchers are the primary link for flood victims. The dispatcher must determine which responders are available, their location, and which events need urgent attention, using maps, forecasts, etc.
  • National Guard, military, and Red Cross coordinators: Along with local response systems, specialty responders are frequently brought into an area during a flood emergency.  They must coordinate within their organization and also between organizations.

Systems specialists: Making a plan
Systems specialists design and oversee entire plans of operation during an emergency and work with key players ahead of an emergency: identifying and designing robust communications systems, evacuation routes and evacuation criteria, e.g. 

  • Department of Homeland Security disaster officer
  • Federal Emergency Management Administration planner
  • statewide FirstNet planner

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