Following a record-breaking 2017 hurricane season – which cost the U.S. more than $200 billion in damage, eclipsing the previous record of $159 billion in 2005 – the 2018 hurricane season is expected to be another active one.

Communities and state governments are bracing for major impact as the 2018 season approaches, as the Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project predicts 14 named storms in 2018, just under the 17 named in 2017. Additionally, the team at CSU is expecting 2018 to be an above-normal hurricane season by about 35 percent. The project leads warned coastal residents to take proper precautions.

With experts confirming that the 2018 season is expected to be (at least) as active as last year, it’s essential that utilities and coastal citizens are well prepared. Fortunately, utilities recognize the urgency and have continued to implement the necessary infrastructure to mitigate potential devastation from these powerful storms.

As citizens prepare during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, utilities and municipalities are also encouraged to make sure they’re ready for the upcoming season. They not only have to ensure their infrastructure is equipped to handle any possible hurricane impact, but also that the citizens they serve have access to the services they need during and immediately following hurricanes.

Those utilities and cities that have a smart grid infrastructure in place are ahead of the curve in ensuring their citizens are taken care of immediately following a hurricane. For example, cities that experienced some of the most damage during 2017 – Miami and Houston – were able to prepare and stage response efforts for the storm based on historical maps and data collected from IoT sensors across the city before, during and immediately after the storm. Furthermore, these cities, among other connected smart cities around the country, are now analyzing data collected during 2017’s active hurricane season to better prepare for the 2018 season.

As cities, municipalities and utilities look to further improve their services and their citizens’ safety during times of—and recovery from—natural disasters, smart city technology and leveraging data from disasters will become more important to help better prepare for the next disaster – as Houston and Miami have shown – and reduce the economic impact of these storms and disasters.

A number of cities and countries around the globe are looking to smart city technologies, in times of disaster preparation and recovery and beyond, to improve their citizens’ well-being and resourceful use of energy. Learn more about how cities and nations, such as Copenhagen, Paris, Jamaica and Singapore, are implementing this innovative technology.

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