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Smart Cities Could Be Asset During Natural Disasters

Smart cities— where different utilities and services are interconnected via the Internet of Things(IoT) — may be especially beneficial during times of emergency.

Narayan Mandayam, a Distinguished Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers University, said by utilizing the IoT to connect different telecommunications platforms and utility services, municipalities can enhance communication between first responders while also handling any potential problems to the water, gas or power services faster.

“A smart city is where every device, every entity and every object can connect wirelessly for whatever the needs,” Mandayam said in a statement. “To make a smart city happen, a tremendous amount of investment in infrastructure will be needed, but the benefits will likely far outweigh the costs. It scares me to think what it would mean for congestion, pollution and quality of life if we don’t start doing things to mitigate them.”

Mandayam, who lives in New Jersey, said he was inspired by what he saw during superstorm Sandy, which devastated the state on Oct. 29, 2012. He said he personally was without power for five days, while others in the state did not have power for at least two weeks. Read more.

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