These issues call for drastic improvements on the way floods are forecasts, therefore enabling the general public to plan and prepare for previously unforeseen circumstances. Luckily, recent developments in technological advancements have now allowed new innovative methods of alerts to arise.
The Environment Agency is at the forefront of natural disaster technology with the creation of their new “Flood Alert” mobile application. The Telegraph has highlighted that this iPhone app utilises location base data to allow monitoring possible risks of flooding in the area for all users. The app allows tracking the alerts of two saved locations throughout England and Wales. Consequently people are able to track their own location as well as one of possibly a friend or family.
This style of user monitoring has been well received from those especially living near coastlines; however it’s also extremely valuable for those who may not even be that close to a coast, as the Environment Agency state that one in every six properties in England and Wales are somewhat at risk to flooding.
The revolutionary move towards mobile apps have seen a sharp growth in recent years with research group Nielsen showing last year providing a 85% increase in mobile app development, 82% rise in mobile websites and a decline of 4% in conventional PC internet use. Additionally they have found actual usage of these mobile apps to have more than doubled, which means people are increasingly using their mobile devices as sources of information. Consequently this provides a strong opening for other organisations to utilise the mobile trends in order to increase awareness.
In addition to the flood warning mobile app, the first ever Facebook flood warning system has also been developed by the Environment Agency who have clearly focused on making flood alerts their priority in a time riddled with unexpected natural catastrophes.
The Independent’s website has recently shown some of the worst flooding taking place in Devon and Cornwall, with four severe warnings given, suggesting the levels of water were such to potentially be life threatening. These are the sorts of incidents which technology allows us to be aware of as well as make the changes we need to survive from natural disasters.
Overall with Moore’s law suggesting technology power doubles every 18 months, technology is an area we cannot continue to ignore. It has become extremely difficult to always be on the cutting edge of the digital age, but ensuring you at least attempt to keep up is the difference between a slow growth decline and a fast growing survivor. Innovation and change needs to be adopted before organisations are left too far behind to catch up with technological advancements, therefore mobile apps in the current age seems the best way forward.