Deep Learning Could Help First Responders Offer Critical Aid in the Wake of Disasters

How this small Houston community survived Hurricane Harvey when other parts didn’t

A small thunderstorm three years ago pushed more than a foot of floodwater into Stan Cook’s home in the small community of Clear Lake, ruining old home movies, destroying kitchen cabinets and causing more than $130,000 in damage.

So when Hurricane Harvey dropped biblical amounts of rain on the region in August, he braced for the worst. Yet, only an inch of water crept into his Reseda Drive home, soaking carpets but not much else.

The reason for the drastic change: A new golf-course-turned-lagoon-sized detention pond sprawling just beyond Cook’s backyard.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Cook, 62, looking out at the complex of water, trees, pipes and culverts. “I’m hoping I’ll never flood again.”

The record-shattering rains that Harvey unleashed here in August killed about 50 people in the greater Houston area, displaced thousands and caused billions of dollars in damage. Ever since, residents and regional leaders have debated how…


Deep Learning Could Help First Responders Offer Critical Aid in the Wake of Disasters


From hurricanes to wildfires, 2017 brought the world a number of natural disasters — as well as some tech to deal with them. We have more information than ever following a disaster thanks to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sophisticated satellites that can capture images of disasters from the air, but we are still working on ways to process the data so it is valuable for relief efforts. That’s where deep learning comes in, says the World Bank in collaboration with WeRobotics and OpenAerialMap…


Key characteristics which make up the DNA of high achievers

What do we mean by the term high achievers? It’s the people who make stuff happen. Not just the small things – yes, they do those too – but the big things as well.

High achievers, unsurprisingly, are driven by a strong motive to achieve. They have a strong desire to accomplish something important. Whilst less accomplished individuals are often more motivated to avoid failure, often resulting in them achieving less.

Having spent two decades working with business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs across a variety of industries, organisations and countries, I’ve identified seven key characteristics which make up the DNA of a high achiever…

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