The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the 2017 natural disasters damage cost in America is around $306 billion.
These disasters include hurricanes, forest fires, tornadoes, droughts, flooding and other severe weather events.
With available technology and the progress, we have made as a civilisation, it is sad to see natural events still turn into disasters. Sensor technologies, big data analytics, communications, robotics and even artificial intelligence are here to improve the conditions of our lives and to make lives easier. There is no reason why the American infrastructure systems and their responses to natural events should be so inadequate.
American infrastructure seems to be crippling and it appears that natural events are creating havoc and it appears as if there is no respite in sight.
The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card indicates that the cost to improve the infrastructure to an acceptable standard would be around $4.59 trillion.
Given the challenges of climate changes, fiscal constraints and indeed all other politics, can data and related technology help America?
The answer to this a resounding “Yes”.
Here are three simple things which the leaders, the decision makers and indeed the engineers could consider to commence the ‘bailing out’ process and improve the conditions of the ageing American infrastructure systems:
1. Accept that the ‘ability to act on data’ is Very Low or indeed, non-existent in some cases.
2. Acknowledge that data and indeed technology is a friend of the engineering process and is the best bet to salvage the infrastructure systems.
3. Create a master plan and enable ‘the datapreneurs’ involved in the management of infrastructure systems to deliver results in a systematic manner, starting today!
An apple seed, when planted results in an apple tree and an apple fruit. An orange seed, will result in an orange tree that bears orange fruit.
Clearly, we reap what we sow.
America urgently needs to sow seeds for a safer, efficient and an effective infrastructure system. And the sowing of this seed starts with acknowledging that there is a problem and a commitment is needed to ensure that America pursues a “zero disaster world.”
Data and technology are available to us in this world and we should only learn to put them to the right use. And right use is to make this a better world.
Let’s put data and technology to work. Let’s get America’s infrastructure into peak performing state