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Disasters

While countries such as Japan have sophisticated earthquake warning systems, the fact is that many less-developed countries do not. In order to offer those nations some form of protection, a consortium of US research institutes has devised the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System, in which regular peoples' smartphones could detect earthquakes and send warnings. Read More
Researchers from the University of Iowa and United States Geographical Survey (USGS) have developed a method of using satellite and GPS data to characterize earthquake fault lines in real time, helping to deliver aid more accurately and with greater speed than current systems allow. Read More
According to a scientist from the University of Leicester in the UK, the search for missing ships and sea-crossing aircraft – such as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – would be much easier if existing satellites were simply used differently. Dr. Nigel Bannister is developing a system in which spacecraft that already keep an eye on the land could also turn their attention to the sea. Read More
When a major natural disaster or nuclear war strikes, survival will be the main priority for most us. For some, though, the biggest problem will be deciding whether to watch a movie or go for a swim. Residents at the luxury Survival Condo resort will be safe, secure and not short of entertainment. Read More
Ensuring that people have shelter is a critical part of disaster relief. But what happens if the disaster is ongoing? Or if another disaster hits? A humanitarian shelter from Extremis Technology is designed with just that thinking. The Hush2 can be erected in two hours and can withstand hurricanes. Read More
If you're ever trapped in a collapsed building and are calling for help, you might want to think twice before squashing any cockroaches that wander your way – one of them might have been sent to find you. Researchers from North Carolina State University are currently laying the groundwork for such a scenario, by getting cyborg-like "biobot" cockroaches to move towards sounds. Down the road, such insects may be used to locate victims at disaster sites. Read More
Landslides kill thousands of people every year, so it should come as no surprise that various systems have been developed in an effort to predict when they're about to occur. One of the most recent innovations, developed by scientists at Italy's Second University of Naples, utilizes fiber optics to create a sort of watchable "nervous system" of the slope that's being monitored. Read More
When a tornado's heading your way, the best thing you can do is to go your basement or better yet, to a purpose-built storm shelter. The problem is, not everyone has access to either. With that in mind, Missouri-based entrepreneur Steve Anderson created the Tuuli Armor Tornado Shield. Essentially, it's a big bag that you get inside of. Read More
When a mobile network is down, overloaded or simply out of range, it can certainly be inconvenient or potentially much worse. goTenna aims to keep mobile devices connected regardless of network status by creating its own network over which users can send messages to each other. Read More
These days, most people are inseparable from their mobile phone, with the device being one of the essentials along with keys and cash or cards that people don't leave home without. A project at EPFL's Mobile Communications Laboratory is looking to take advantage of this fact by developing a drone that would help rescuers search for victims of natural disasters by locating their phones. Read More
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