Hurricane Irma: Where to go for the best information

by Jon Sonnenschein on September 8, 2017

Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Texas and Louisiana, causing record-breaking floods and rampant destruction, we’re already preparing for Hurricane Irma. The storm is projected to make landfall in Florida this weekend as at least a Category 4 hurricane. Based on wind speed, Irma is among the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. And, with severe damages in the Caribbean already, Irma will be one to watch very closely. In a time of chaos and uncertainty, we must all work together—insurance carriers, commercial providers, government, and scientists alike—to share as much information as we can to protect policyholders and portfolios. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of SpatialKey-specific resources as well as our top external resources:

Below is a list of data partners directly integrated with SpatialKey to help you respond to this event quickly. We will provide updates to this list as data and footprints become available:
  • NOAA/NHC - Released wind data as well as PSurge data, a storm surge dataset that we loaded into our datamart, and we’ll be updating as new advisories become available.
  • JBA - Released footprints that cover flood depth and flood extents to help you understand the flood impact Irma will have.
  • Aon Impact Forecasting - Released wind data to help you track the intensity of Irma’s winds.
  • KatRisk - Released wind and storm surge data to help you evaluate Irma and the impact it will have.

hurricane-irma-sept-5-2017-cira-rammb.jpgHurricane Irma storm from above, courtesy of Business Insider

Popular External Resources

Below are popular external resources. Did we miss any? Send us your recommendations here.

Storm tracking and live updates:

  • The Weather Channel - Helps people understand what’s currently going on with Irma and provides future forecasts. As simple as it may sound, check The Weather Channel.
  • National Hurricane Center (NHC) - Provides maps and data for this event, offering views such as wind speed, storm surge, rainfall, and multiple-day forecasts.
  • CNN Weather - Reports on events live, updating their site as the storm develops. They also inform their readers when the next update will be available.
  • Weather Underground - Provides current activity of Irma, including a 5-day forecast, history, satellite views, various models, and storm archive.

Safety and preparedness:

  • FEMA - Offers tips to stay safe before and during Hurricane Irma. Read their advice on how to prepare and download their mobile app for live updates.
  • Ready.gov - Advises on how to prepare your home and family for a hurricane, with useful tips on readiness, what steps to take, and an hour-by-hour breakdown of how to react (6 hours prior to the event, 18 hours prior, etc.).
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management - Provides Floridians with state-specific resources such as  evacuation information, storm updates, an emergency hotline, and many other helpful resources.
  • National Hurricane Center (NHC) - Compiles a comprehensive list of everything you need to know to prepare.
  • Property Casualty 360 (PC360) - Provides a step-by-step list of actions to take.

Social media accounts to follow:

Also, check trending hashtags such as #HurricaneIrma and #IrmaHurricane to see the latest Hurricane Irma posts from public Twitter users.

Relief efforts:

  • American Red Cross - Make donations here to help families that are impacted.
  • Save the Children - Donate here to help Save the Children protect vulnerable youth and help provide desperately needed relief to families in need.
  • The Salvation Army - When you donate to the Salvation Army, 100 percent of the donation is used to support this event, from food and water, to clothes, to direct financial aid.
  • Google - Google provides a donation service as well to help you direct your funds to help those in need during this event.

Before donating, check with your company and see if they have an employee gift matching program. Many do, and when you donate in support of Hurricane Irma, you may be able to get that donation doubled.

Evacuations, emergency contacts, and shelters:

To learn more about Irma and how you can work with us to prepare, or for questions about this event, please reach out or contact your SpatialKey account manager directly. Just like the resources we’ve put together, we’re at your disposal and available to help in any way that we can. Most of all, if you or yours are in the path of this storm, we wish you safe passage out of harm's way.

Topics: Hurricane, Event Analysis, Analytics, Event response, Data

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