Reducing disaster impact and rebuilding communities
Natural disasters take lives and devastate communities. From 2004-2013, almost two billion people were directly affected by disaster. And just twenty years ago, the Kobe earthquake in Japan became the world’s most costly disaster ever, with losses totalling over $132 billion. Climate change and increasing industrialization mean natural disasters will continue to increase. Finding ways to mitigate their impact is crucial.
When hazards are planned for, with effective response strategies, “their negative impacts can be mitigated”, the UN report says. And new tech and AI services can provide essential tools that make relief more efficient. Scientific American says that new disaster response technologies will be vital in “saving lives and minimizing damage to infrastructure”. Advance response –like radar devices that forecast storms earlier– must be “paired with better understanding of how to get people to respond to the warnings” to be effective. Innovative solutions that use risk analytics predict weather impact and reduce damage to help both with short-term aid, and with getting communities back on their feet in the long term. These include developments in #Civictech #InsurTech #FinTech and #Proptech –Artificial Intelligence “is one of the fields that have the biggest impact on the insurance industry”, say hackernoon, and this is true for disaster cases where risk analysis and emergency monitoring can help insurers to plan, respond and boost resilience.
For example, real-time mapping technology like MapAction and Open Street Map could “revolutionise disaster response” according to the Guardian. These tools either automatically map areas, or ask citizens or volunteers to provide geomapping data, used to rapidly send resources to where they need to be. A development partnership blog describes “the power which resides in the crowds to make available what we could call ‘life-saving data’”, highlighting the importance of crowdsourced information and consumer insights to disaster relief.
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