Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Eastern United States taking down power lines, sending sea water gushing into substations, and knocking out connections to power plants. Millions of people lost power from both the grid and their secondary and tertiary backup systems. Cell phone service similarly suffered.
However, technology already exists which can enable us to better prepare for the next disaster. We've corralled the following collection of communications, sensors, robotics, and transport technologies which can help ensure our city infrastructures are properly prepared and recovery operations run smoothly and efficiently -- iff we adopt and deploy them.1) First Responder Network Authority:
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The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was authorized in 2012 to create the first nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for first responders including police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety personnel. Today emergency personnel routinely use different frequencies to communicate, but FirstNet will use a distributed core network to integrate a diverse set of redundant channels to insure emergency communications work in a pinch.