When a emergency occurs, we must get the emergency management services responding as quickly as possible. The current preparedness of many emergency management services in Australia, is very effective. As shown in the response to Cyclone Yasi, an enormous category 5 cyclone with no loss of life. A Smart City can take the lessons learnt during each emergency to better prepare for future emergencies.
A Smart City offers the ability to continuously watch over cities to check for anomalies. At present this involves people noticing the emergency and reporting to the emergency response teams. This takes time as the average citizen will need to look up the appropriate emergency response team to notify. By implementing a Smart City, the current and future technologies will be able to send alerts to the appropriate emergency department for actioning. By automatically sending out alerts, response to the disaster will be faster.
Smart Cities can help the emergency response teams handle disasters. This includes providing a better administration for the volunteers involved in gaining control of the disaster. Australian emergency services are already well versed in sharing resources. For example, in January 2017, Queanbeyan NSW State Emergency Services (SES) called on the Rural Fire Service (RFS) for help following a storm. This involved a manual process of people recognising the need for more help and then requesting this help. A Smart City would be able to provide a faster analysis on what resources are available and request help sooner. Thereby helping the emergency service control the disaster faster.
Once the disaster is under control, a Smart City will be able to use the technology available to assess damage. The Smart City will then be able to identify what further clean up and rebuild will be required. By having a system that can collate information from multiple systems, we will be able to prioritise the rebuild effectively.
While Australia is just branching into Smart Cities, the are other parts of the world that have already ventured into this concept.