Liaoning Province's investment in a high-definition video conferencing technology has helped avert what would have been a tragic disaster, including economic loss in millions of dollars.

Asia has had its share of natural disasters and China's no exception. This reality has prompted Liaoning Province in 2012 to invest in a high-definition video conferencing solution, which was recently put to good use.

The province activated its Polycom-based videoconference system to help analyse flood data and act on contingency measures to help save thousands of families from the devastating flood waters.

Such quick response was facilitated when the Water Resources Department of Liaoning Province established a flood emergency response platform in 2012. The platform included implementing a Polycom HD videoconference system with 127 cameras monitoring reservoirs and critical water courses across the province.

Provincial Governor Chen Zhenggao recently experienced the importance of such an investment when he convened an emergency videoconference at the province's Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. Using the Polycom platform, provincial officials were able to make sound decisions based on real-time video discussions on the impact of such a natural disaster.

Flood control

The Water Resources Department said the videoconference system was critical in helping control the flood. The easy-to-operate platform helped facilitate cross-regional coordination of emergency response.

Help was practically on hand as the video solutions provided officials and first responders with first-hand information in full HD video using low bandwidth. The HD video used 1080p 30fps point-to-point HD video conferencing and 720p 60fps end-to-end full motion HD broadcast quality.

"With the rapid development of video communication technology, governments can benefit from the important role collaboration can play in flood emergency response," said Steven Li, general manager, Greater China region, Polycom.

He added that the customisable feature of the Polycom solutions helped the emergency responders act quickly while minimising risks on lives.

Polycom also noted that in managing flood control, specialists and officials were coordinating at different levels from different locations. In this situation, a stable, secure and 24x7 operation was critical. Polycom was able to provide a "hot" standby MCU to guarantee uptime in a crisis such as natural disasters. Polycom said such a system hardly requires any human intervention, thus making for a dependable and reliable system even during natural disasters.