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Hurricane Sandy Disaster Response
We donated our software and the expertise of our Philanthropy Engineering team to organizations working to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern United States,
causing more than 250 deaths and $60 billion in damage. Team Rubicon and Direct Relief International are just two of the organizations that mobilized to respond, and we are honored to have supported their efforts.
How we helped: Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon is a non-profit relief organization that dispatched volunteers from its network of nearly 5,000 military veterans to provide relief to those in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. They distributed supplies, cleared debris from damanged buildings and transportation routes, and coordinated the actions of 10,000 spontaneous volunteers.
“The Palantir software acts as a force multiplier. The software addresses a common problem in dispatching crews for disaster relief: lack of real-time communication.” – Ford Sypher, Regional Director, Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon used our software to streamline and scale their disaster relief operations. Members of our Philanthropy Engineering team embedded with Team Rubicon at their command center in the Rockaways. While on site, our engineers developed a plug-in that allowed volunteers to collect requests for assistance using smart phones and iPads. We trained volunteers to use Palantir Gotham to collect requests for assistance, prioritize them according to urgency, dispatch resources appropriately, and track progress toward completion.
Direct Relief International (DRI) is a leading medical relief organization that responded to Hurricane Sandy by committing cash and medical supplies to communities affected by the storm. With their network of donors and partner clinics, DRI is providing critical resources to the populations that are most at risk, both in the United States and in the Caribbean.
“Palantir brought tremendous intelligence to bear on field-based humanitarian assessment and opened the promise of extending our analytic capacities more directly into events as they happen.” – Andrew Schroeder, Director of Research and Analysis, DRI
DRI used our software to integrate information from their own databases, partnering organizations, and open source datasets to conduct meteorological, social vulnerability, supply chain, and health risk analysis of areas in the path of the storm. This analysis enabled DRI to pre-position supplies and medicine before the storm hit, analyze real-time weather data during the storm, and provide emergency medical supplies where they were needed most in the wake of the storm. Volunteers on the ground used Palantir Mobile to collect and send data to DRI headquarters in real time. DRI also used Palantir Gotham to monitor infectious disease trends and route medical resources to the areas in greatest need.
“The organization set up a command center at 124th Street, where residents can file requests for assistance, and with the donation of a computer-mapping program, by Palo Alto-based software company Palantir, Team Rubicon has been able to track the work orders and send teams out quickly.”
When Nerds Cross the Rubicon: How Military Veterans Are Revolutionizing Disaster Response Networks through Better Technology
“Imagined as operating system for data problems, Palantir’s software was able to pull in information from multiple sources of data, fuse it together into a coherent picture of the state of the peninsula, and then allow Team Rubicon operators to efficiently dispatch volunteers...”
Using Mobile Technology to Guide on the Ground Response After Sandy
“Although in many ways this was really a pilot test of the system, mobile information tools from Palantir brought tremendous intelligence to bear on field-based humanitarian assessment and opened the promise of extending our analytic capacities more directly into events as they happen.”