The DHS Science and Technology Directorate said Monday it is investing $3.5 million in the development of low-cost sensor technologies through its Flood Apex Program.

The program is applying Internet of Things-based approaches to facilitate evacuations, flood monitoring, and resilience of critical infrastructure, said the DHS.

For instance, through a collaboration with the Lower Colorado River Authority, FEMA, and the National Weather Service in flood-prone areas of Texas, the program will share real-time data to give first responders and local officials the ability to respond more rapidly when a flood strikes and make the right preventive investments in flood protection to help save lives and protect infrastructure, according to the DHS.

Floods are the most common and destructive natural disaster in the United States, and with support from DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be able to:

  • leverage existing data sources to create multi-dimensional representations of community functions, following a flood event, using an integrated, system-of-systems approach
  • enhance whole community collaboration around flood disaster risk reduction
  • identify indicators of flood resilience and opportunities to introduce advanced technology solutions;
  • empower communities with a flood decision support tool to enable both pre-event and post event resiliency planning
  • enable faster decision-making

The Flood Apex program aligns with and supports implementation of Presidential Policy Directives 8 (National Preparedness) and 21 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience) and Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.