Maui and the use of new technology to prevent and mitigate future disasters

We are experiencing more natural disasters now than at any time in my life. We still act as if every catastrophe is an isolated and unexpected event rather than recognizing the trend and finding ways to prevent or mitigate disasters such as we saw in Hawaii.

We could do more to ensure that we don’t experience the same massive damage again. We continue to fail to use what we already know.

How can we better prepare for disasters such as the Maui fire? This week, let’s look at some possible solutions. Then we’ll close with my Product of the Week, a new all-in-one desktop PC from HP that could be perfect for anyone who wants an easy-to-set-up-and-use desktop computing solution.

Analysis vs. Analysis

In order to recover from a disaster, you should first save and rescue the survivors and then analyze what happened. You then develop a plan for preventing it from happening again. In the last phase, you will remove those who have shown they are unable to perform their jobs, but this does not mean that these people were in key positions at the time of the disaster.

We tend to assign blame almost instantly, making it difficult to analyze the cause of an accident. People don’t want to be blamed, especially if they could have done nothing differently.

The use of generative AI can be very helpful by focusing the process on aspects that will have the greatest impact in saving lives, both immediately and over time.

Focusing on blame can also stop the process, even if it is not the cause of the problem. We must still address the root causes of this problem. A person who has dealt with this problem before will probably be better equipped to prioritize actions if the issue arises again. It could be counterproductive to fire the person in charge who has this experience.

If properly trained, Generative AI could act as a dynamic, flexible policy that can adapt to a variety of disaster scenarios. It could give directions on where to start, analyze the data, and recommend unbiased actions and processes to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

Metaverse Simulation

A major problem with disasters is the lack of resources available to those who are working to mitigate their effects. The government is often unwilling to fund the costs of implementing a disaster mitigation plan.

If the Hawaiian power company had been told they would go out of business if they did not bury or power down the power lines, then one of these two things could have happened. They didn’t because they did not do a good risk/reward assessment.

In retrospect, I can see all of this. With tools such as Nvidia’s Omniverse, you can still create highly accurate and predictive simulations that can show you, just like you are in the event, how a disaster would unfold if certain actions were taken or not taken.

Hawaii is likely to experience high winds. It is expected to have high winds because Hawaii is in the path of a hurricane and has had high wind events before. It would be logical to simulate wind, water, and tsunami events in order to find out the best ways to avoid extreme damage.

If powering off the grid is too disruptive, the answer may be as simple as moving the electrical wire underground.

In addition, you can model evacuation routes. Gridlock is a problem if there are too many people on the road. This makes it hard for anyone to get out. To get as many people out of a particular area as possible, you must stage the evacuation and give priority to those who are closest to the epicenter.

As is common, the people who are closest to the event will have the least traffic, and the ones that are farthest away may not be able to leave, which is a clearly broken system.

You should be able, through simulations and AI-driven communication, to plan an evacuation better and make sure the maximum number is kept safe.


Communication is another important issue to consider when managing disasters.

Cisco usually sends trucks to disaster areas in order to restore communication as part of its sustainability efforts. However, the trucks can take up to several weeks to arrive. Therefore, the government must have an emergency communications platform that will work even if the cell towers go down or if they are hardened so that they do not.

In New York City, communication was cut off during the 9/11 attacks because there was an enormous communications hub that was destroyed when the towers collapsed. BlackBerry’s pager network, which was still up and running, saved the day. We were so brilliant that instead of institutionalizing a network that remained up, we decided to discontinue it. Now, the web will not survive any disasters that occur worldwide.

BlackBerry AtHoc for critical event management could have been an enormous help in responding to the latest Maui disaster.

Simulating a network can be used to demonstrate the benefits and to re-establish a robust communication network that can survive an emergency since many people do not have AM radios anymore, which were once a reliable method of getting information during a disaster.

Finally, autonomous vehicles will form a network mesh that can potentially survive a catastrophe. They could be routed automatically out of dangerous areas by using the AI-determined fastest and safest routes.


After a disaster, we rebuild, but we tend to use the same structures that failed before. This is illogical. After the 1906 earthquake, regulations were enacted to make buildings more resistant to strong quakes.

We should build houses in a fire-prone area with materials that can withstand a firestorm. Metal, water sprinklers, and water sources like a large tank or pool can be used to build fire-resistant houses. You can also use European Rolling Shutters for your windows to prevent the fire from spreading. This will allow you to stay in the place rather than have to leave and risk getting stuck on the road.

This building method is more effective because insurance companies are now abandoning high-risk areas. It will help to ensure that people do not lose their family members, pets, or most of their possessions.

Simulators can also show how a certain house design would fare in a natural disaster. In terms of Maui’s rebuilding, 3D-printed homes can be built in a fraction of the time and, depending on the materials used, are more resistant to natural disasters and fire.

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