GPS Tracking Systems Tested in California Disaster Drill
Over 7 million Californians participated in a state-wide earthquake drill to test emergency services, response times, and other vital emergency-related tasks in preparation of a catastrophic quake. The drill was the largest to ever take place in American history. Mobile simulators were used to represent the force of a powerful quake, and emergency search rescue services were deployed to strategic locations during the earthquake simulation. A state official said, “In order for us to understand the full capabilities of search and rescue personnel, as well as other emergency crews, a massive simulation was necessary to gauge California’s level of preparedness.” Today, GPS tracking systems monitor almost all emergency vehicles in the field. The GPS tracking systems help in deployment, mobilization, and accountability of emergency personnel.
The simulation was to prepare Californians for a quake measuring a 7.5 magnitude or greater.
Helpful Tips to Follow Before, During, and After an Earthquake
Surviving a major disaster requires planning before, during, and after an earthquake, if an individual wants to have the highest probability of making it through the event. Counting on first responders and GPS tracking system technology to save you is something you do not want to have happen unless their is no other option. Geology, a website dedicated to providing weather and other related information, suggests the following tips to increase a person’s chances of surviving an earthquake.
- Have plenty of emergency supplies, such as additional food, water, blankets and cash available.
- Learn how to turn off water, gas, and all other utilities.
- Take cover if you are located indoors, or find an open area if you are located outdoors.
- After the quake, make sure appliances are turned off, no gas leaks are present, and move to a safe location.
Scientists believe that there is a 46% chance that a 7.5 magnitude earthquake will hit the southern California region within the next 30 years, making the earthquake drills essential and necessary.
GPS Tracking Systems Give Search and Rescue Officials Distinct Advantage
During the earthquake drill, first responders and other search and rescue officials were able to test some of the most advanced technological rescue tools, such as GPS trackers in semi-real conditions. GPS tracking systems allowed officials to monitor rescue crews from the deployment phase, all the way up until the point rescue crews arrived at the scene of the disaster. Some search and rescue officials were equipped with personal GPS tracking system devices that allowed department officials to monitor their location when they crawled into areas with no visibility. “The disaster drill allowed us to examine and analyze rescue equipment and techniques in a real-world, life-like scenario, and the GPS tracking system equipment proved to be some of the most valuable gear search and rescue crews have in their tools”, stated an official representing emergency services.
Exactly 20 years ago in 1989, an earthquake struck the San Francisco area that resulted in the deaths of 67 people and caused nearly 6 billion dollars in damages. Search and rescue services did not have GPS tracking system technology available to them during that earthquake.