Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response

Natural disasters, political conflicts, economic crises, and other catastrophic events threaten the lives and livelihood of organizations and their people around the world.

Natural disasters, political conflicts, economic crises, and other catastrophic events threaten the lives and livelihood of organizations and their people around the world. The challenge for organizations and communities today is to make themselves more resilient in the face of the unexpected, and more agile and responsive when disaster strikes. This is exactly the kind of problem Palantir was founded to solve.

Our products have been deployed to integrate massive volumes of data to support crisis response operations on a moment’s notice. We’ve integrated publicly available data, damage assessments, satellite imagery, weather reports, geospatial information on key infrastructure and relief resources, as well as reports from news agencies and governments, and made it all available in a unified environment for users to search, analyze, and explore. Our many analytical products share a common back-end infrastructure, working together seamlessly to provide all the capabilities an organization needs to revolutionize the way they prepare for and respond to disasters.

Disaster Preparedness

Protecting and Mobilizing Personnel

Preparing your organization for the unexpected begins with managing risk and shoring up vulnerabilities. For any organization, the most important asset to protect is its own people. By integrating employee records into a Palantir Revisioning Database and reviewing this data on an Executive Dashboard, organizations can maintain an up-to-date picture of personnel location and needs, experience, special skills and certifications, and more. Equipped with this information, decision makers can adopt measures to protect their people in the event of a disaster and deploy the right personnel to assist at a moment's notice.

Tracking Resources

In an era of just-in-time delivery, supply chains are both more efficient and more vulnerable to disruptions than ever before. Disasters that affect global supply chains threaten to cut victims off from critical resources and subject commercial enterprises to tremendous losses. Relief organizations with stockpiles of supplies need to know how to deploy them most efficiently when disaster strikes. By analyzing inventory records, shipping manifests, meteorological data, and more relationally on the Palantir Graph and geospatially with Palantir Raven, organizations can quickly improve and maintain situational awareness, identify vulnerabilities in their supply chains, and take action to make them more resilient.

Crisis Response

Operating in disconnected environments

The moments immediately following a disaster are often the most critical for those affected. These are also the moments when communications infrastructure is most likely to fail. Responders need to be able to coordinate operations, gather and share data, and communicate in environments without high-bandwidth network connectivity. That’s why we developed Palantir MIMOSA and Palantir Mobile, which enable users to enter data into the Palantir Revisioning database over both cellular and satellite networks. When no connectivity is available, data can be stored on mobile devices or Palantir Forward-enabled laptops and synchronized with data on the network when connectivity is restored. Seconds after responders carry out damage assessments and submit work orders, their data can be accessed by coordinators operating from anywhere in the world, significantly improving response times.

Coordinating response efforts

Responding to crises is a collaborative effort that requires the coordination of people and resources from different organizations that serve different affected populations. Volunteers, first responders, and victims of disasters can easily register needs and submit reports about conditions on the ground through Palantir Artemis, a simple web form that connects to the Revisioning Database. By integrating manually-collected data and existing datasets, our products create a data-backed picture of the crisis that updates in real time, depicting response operations as they unfold. And with Nexus Peering, users from different organizations can share that picture with each other to better coordinate their efforts.

Delivering resources where they’re needed most

With real-time data about available resources and current needs integrated into a single environment, organizations can conduct ad hoc analysis to determine how to deliver aid most efficiently to the most vulnerable. Much of this analysis is geospatial, and with Palantir Raven organizations can leverage on-demand satellite imagery to carry out high-level damage assessments on infrastructure like hospitals or airport terminals, track and communicate with field personnel in real-time, and quickly share important findings with managers, other teams, and other organizations. Managers can use our Executive Dashboards to track the status of response operations along several different dimensions, including current needs, gaps, financial data, human resources, inventory, and more, so they can be confident they’re making informed decisions.

Palantir In Action

Crisis Response

The Moore Tornado, OK The Moore Tornado, OK

In May 2013, a tornado devastated more than 12,000 homes in Moore, OK. Within hours, Team Rubicon deployed their all-volunteer forces to help the people of Moore recover from the devastation. Team Rubicon used Palantir Gotham and Palantir Mobile to conduct structural assessments, coordinate volunteers, and track relief efforts. With just 10 minutes of training, Team Rubicon volunteers were able to begin collecting information about the relief site, including street closings, photos of damage, and Structural Assessment Reports. Users were able to report conditions in real time, allowing personnel at headquarters to more effectively prioritize work orders and efficiently deploy scarce volunteer resources.

Hurricane Sandy, NY Hurricane Sandy, NY

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. As a first responder, Direct Relief provided medical supplies and services to thousands of people affected by the hurricane. Direct Relief used our products to help identify health needs and coordinate appropriate response efforts. We integrated pharmacy locations, weather reports, flood maps, fuel availability charts, and data from New York’s 311 request system into our Revisioning Database and exposed it through our analytical applications, where analysts could determine which geographical areas had the most urgent needs. Direct Relief analysts were able to monitor the availability of pharmacies and health clinics as well as their inventories of basic medical supplies. They conducted geospatial analysis to determine which roads were available for transport and which routes were most efficient. Direct Relief deployed Palantir Mobile to send information about flood zones, drug availability, and damage levels to coordinators at headquarters. In the weeks following the storm, Direct Relief used our Executive Dashboard to monitor disease trends in the disaster region.

Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines

Direct Relief turned to Palantir in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan to build an efficient and effective means of gathering information and distributing aid. Because Haiyan had knocked out all cellular connectivity in affected regions, Direct Relief needed a satellite communications capability. Within 24 hours of Haiyan’s landfall Palantir had developed MIMOSA, a lightweight version of Palantir Mobile for rugged satellite-enabled two-way SMS units. Mobile teams operating throughout the affected area used MIMOSA to send assessment data and inform situational analysis. This data was fed into Palantir Raven to enable rich geospatial analytics supplemented by third-party data and satellite imagery. Palantir’s assistance enabled Direct Relief to shape its response and adapt to changing events on the ground.

To find out more about how we can help you prepare for and response to disasters

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