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Agencies Should Turn to AI Before Disaster Strikes: Report

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Report: Agencies Should Turn to AI Before Disaster Strikes

NASA-funded researchers applied artificial intelligence to Facebook user location data captured as two fires wrecked northern California in 2018 and gained new insight into people’s evacuation movements and behaviors when disaster strikes, which could strengthen future response. The Defense Innovation Unit and Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute are collectively crafting datasets to teach AI tools to assess buildings and structures after natural crises occur, and ultimately augment and increase the accuracy of damage estimates.

These are two of many examples detailed in a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Microsoft that explores how the maturing technology can improve disaster resilience and response, and considerations and actions governments should pursue when adopting AI to boost preparedness, recovery and relief. The report suggests agencies improve data collection and access, make proactive instead of reactive moves, collaborate with other organizations—and more…

 

Disaster preparedness would improve HE pandemic response

Universities can better prepare themselves for future pandemics and become more resilient with a planning approach that encompasses other natural disasters, says Hideo Ohno, president of Japan’s Tohoku University in Sendai, which was badly affected by the 2011 East Japan Earthquake.

Many Pacific Rim universities that were best prepared for campus closures at very short notice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic already had emergency disaster response procedures in place.

These included university plans in the event of bushfires in Australia and California in the United States just before the pandemic and partly overlapping it; typhoons in the Philippines, earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan; and previous epidemics such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS in East Asia and MERS in South Korea…

 

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