September 18, 2018 | Written by: Steve Pearson
Categorized: Disaster Relief & Recovery
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Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas on Thursday, and already (at the time of this publication) has claimed at least 42 lives, left more than one million people without power, and caused record-breaking floods. Though now downgraded to a tropical storm, Florence’s progress has slowed – which means it continues to saturate already-flooded areas with even more rain.
IBM and IBMers have sprung into action with the following efforts and initiatives, which will evolve in real time as the crisis continues:
- Matching IBM employee contributions to the American Red Cross, up to $250,000 in total contributions. IBMer donations through September 30, 2018, will qualify toward the match. Employees will be able to choose the “Hurricane Florence” option on the Red Cross donation page to ensure that 100% of donated funds go toward Red Cross response in the affected region. The public can donate directly to the Red Cross to help those impacted by Florence.
- Donating ad space on weather.com for an American Red Cross “Florence Response” banner to enable disaster relief donations by the public
- Leveraging our ongoing Call for Code effort to organize a “Response and Recovery Workshop” to showcase new disaster recovery and relief solutions. We will leverage projects that coordinate skilled volunteering assistance through IBM Volunteers.
- Exploring how PAIRS Geoscope – an IBM Research project being adopted by The Weather Company as a new commercial offering – can support recovery especially for local responders, planners and leaders, who can use the tool’s geospatial data to help restore flooded territories
- Deploying an IBM Corporate Service Corps team to the Carolinas to focus on disaster recovery
Combined, these efforts represent a market value of $1 million.
As we did in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, IBM is engaging our people and our solutions to developed a comprehensive program that includes immediate storm responses and will continue to provide critical support to recovery rebuilding efforts. We will have more information on our responses to Florence and other disasters as these situations evolve.
Steve Pearson is IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager for the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Learn about IBM’s Hurricane Resiliency Initiative here.