In France, floods are a major natural hazard and also the most frequent. One out of two communes is affected. Even with the latest technical, technological and scientific advances, flooding remains difficult to predict, both in terms of the precision of its localization and its severity, which makes organizing relief difficult. When a disaster is about to take place, before alerting the population, Météo-France contacts the prefect of the affected zone, who informs the mayors of each commune who then inform the inhabitants.
This warning chain is complex to set up and is not always effective, especially when cellular networks are lacking. In addition, crisis units do not have access to the relevant data to have an overview of how the disaster is progressing, leaving the flood victims to cope by themselves for around 72 hours: the approximate time needed for the emergency services to arrive.
Simon is a service combined with an augmented object which comes into play before, during and after a natural disaster, with two different levels of use: local authorities and their inhabitants. First of all, the mayor uses a web service to activate an alert on the Simon device installed in the homes of inhabitants. The inhabitants then interact with Simon by indicating the state of their situation (safe/in danger) as well as the number of people in the building. This allows the mayor and the crisis unit to visualize geographically the development of the incident and an estimation of the state of its citizens. The Simon devices are self-sufficient, they help give inhabitants an active role by getting them to interact and help each other when no other form of communication is possible, and it does this by creating a mesh network. The interactions are succinct and aim to ask for or provide the help needed to survive for 3 days.
The advantage of this service is that it makes it possible to carry out simulations in a whole commune to ensure it is working correctly, in the same way as fire drills. It can also be easily adapted for other natural or technological hazards.