Title: The use of RFID tags to support the post-disaster recovery of utility infrastructure

Authors: Chetan S. Sankar; Bill Rushing; Corley L. Lauderdale; Steve Henderson

Addresses: COB Advisory Council Professor of Information Systems, Auburn University, 415 W. Magnolia, Suite 403, Auburn, AL 36849, USA ' Berntsen International, Inc., P.O. Box 8670, Madison, WI 53708-8670, USA ' Gas, Water and Waste Water Department, Riviera Utilities, 413 East Laurel Avenue, Foley, AL 36535, USA ' Information Technology Division, City of Gulf Shores, 1905 W. 1st Street, Gulf Shores, Al 36547, USA

Abstract: The smart, IT-enabled infrastructure requires utilities to geospatially map their facilities and be able to locate them quickly after they get buried or broken during disasters. In this paper, we describe a collaboration between a university research centre, a manufacturer, a utility, and a city who worked together to map facilities near beaches along the US Gulf Coast. The team tested three technologies, GPS, RFID, and magnetic locators, both individually and in combination, and discovered that using all three together gave the best results. The new device and system developed as a result of this study has the potential to become an important element in disaster preparedness. Given that there are millions of kilometres of infrastructure networks around the world, a new industry needs to develop that digitises utilities' facilities, stores this information, locates the facilities quickly after a disaster, and uses cloud-computing to hasten the recovery process.

Keywords: disaster management; emergency management; utilities; facilities; digital information; global positioning systems; GPS; experiential learning; second responders; partnership; mission-critical data; IT-enabled infrastructure; RFID tags; post-disaster recovery; utility infrastructure; emergency response; emergency recovery; information technology; radio-frequency identification; magnetic locators; critical infrstructures; disaster preparedness; emergency preparedness; cloud computing; USA; United States; Gulf Coast; collaboration; university research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2016.079604

International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 2016 Vol.15 No.4, pp.333 - 345

Received: 25 Nov 2014
Accepted: 28 May 2015

Published online: 22 Sep 2016 *

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