The most critical component of any rescue operation is time.
Knowing the precise location of streets, landmarks, buildings, disaster relief sites and emergency service resources that time, leading to saving lives. Within public safety and disaster relief, this information is critical.
GPS serves as a facilitating tech in addressing these requirements.

GPS has played a massive role, most notably in the disasters of:

  • Indian Ocean in 2004
  • Hurricane Katrina in 2005
  • Hurricane Rita of 2005
  • India-Pakistani earthquake in 2005

Teams of search and rescue emergency workers have utilized GPS and GIS, as well as remote sensing tech to create maps on the spot of the disaster zones.
These have assisted with assessing damages, and also individual rescue and aid operations.

Another vital area of disaster relief is in the management of out of control fires, bush fires and wildfires.
To be able to contain and manage fires, aircraft equipped with GPS and infrared scanners were able to create fire boundaries and locate hots spots.
This information is relayed back in real time to a device at a firefighting camp.
As a result, this invaluable information has assisted with extinguishing fires quicker, as well as providing early warning to property in it’s path.

Areas prone to earthquakes have benefit greatly from GPS by assisting scientists to read the early warning signs of Earthquakes.
Using the precise co-ordinates provided by GPS, scientists have been able to study and track how strain in the earth relates to the causes of an earthquake.

Meteorologists dealing with storm tracking and flood prediction heavily rely on GPS which can assess water vapor content,by analyzing transmissions of GPS data through the atmosphere.

GPS is now an integral part of modern early response systems for emergencies, whether it is helping stranded drivers find help or guiding emergency vehicles.

GPS has given emergency fleet managers a quantum leap forward in efficient operation of their emergency response teams.
This has enabled them to assign resources more effictively.
The ability to identify and view the current location of police, rescue, fire and individual vehicles or boats, and how their location relates to an entire network of transportation systems in a map, has resulted in a entirely new way of doing business.
Location co-ordinates provided by GPS, coupled with automation, reduces delay in the dispatch of emergency vehicles & services.

GPS in mobile phones, as well as cell tower triangulation has made the everyday user visible to emergency response teams.

Today’s widespread placement of GPS location systems in passenger cars, as well as autonomous vehicles provides another leap in developing a comprehensive safety net.
Many maritime and ground vehicles are fitted with autonomous crash sensors and GPS.
As a result, this information when coupled with automatic communication systems, triggers a call for assistance even when occupants are unable to do so.

The modernization of GPS, and the improvements the system undergoes constantly will further facilitate disaster relief and public safety services. The addition of new civil signals will improve accuracy and reliability globally.
In essence, GPS translates to more lives saved and faster recovery for victims of world wide tragedies.