IoT early warning system helps save people from mudslides – Network World

August 24, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

Necessity is the mother of invention.

So, it’s no surprise that the best solutions are designed close to where they’re most needed. How do you empower people in remote parts of the world to develop their own solutions? How can their best solution be shared globally with others to maximize the benefit?

Responding to disasters in El Salvador

Floods and mudslides regularly devastate El Salvador. Villagers can identify impending floods and mudslides, but they are unable to warn others in time. Rugged terrain, lack of power and cellular networks present a formidable communication challenge. Reacción, a team of El Salvadorian experts in electronics, community development and disaster relief, decided to do something about it. Working with local villagers and global experts, they developed an IoT-based early warning system for disasters that’s now shared globally.

Solution design

Understanding the need
Reacción surveyed rural farmers and village elders to understand their concerns. They soon realized that a system that relied only on automated sensors wouldn’t be adequate. Instead it had to incorporate input from village elders who had experience in identifying signs of natural disasters. The solution also had to be battery powered, rugged, affordable and simple enough for villagers without formal education to use.