Helping communities better prepare for and recover from extreme weather events
As climate change contributes to greater frequency and severity of weather events, we help clients around the globe harness technology and data to better predict, prevent and recover from natural disasters. Our solutions provide support during disasters and facilitate well-organized and transparent rescue and recovery operations to enable clients to support those communities in their care. And, when disasters strike, as a company and through our members, we donate and volunteer our resources to help provide needed relief.
Predicting, planning and forecasting
Winter storms can bring devastating floods to many parts of the world. In 2022, for example, storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin all hit the United Kingdom within a 7-day period, causing significant damage. To predict and enable officials to better prepare for the risks posed by the combination of wind, surge and heavy rainfall, CGI partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the eSurge project, which made satellite data more widely available to storm surge modelers and forecasters. The project also worked with users worldwide to facilitate the sharing of models and expertise, with the goal of helping countries with less developed infrastructure to improve their surge predictions.
Preventing and managing climate-related disasters
In the Netherlands, the Nieuwe Waterweg is an important shipping river for Rotterdam. Because it poses a major risk for flooding, the Maeslant storm surge barrier— one of the largest moving structures in the world— was constructed. Our experts developed and implemented BOS, a decision and support system that decides whether to close the barriers in a storm based on weather readings from nearby weather stations and buoys. When BOS recognizes a threat of flooding it implements a series of required precautions and, if necessary, starts the process of closing the storm surge barriers independently.
With climate change contributing to more frequent wildfires in Australia, Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere, better monitoring and analysis of burnt areas can help improve land management and decrease the environmental and human costs of wildfires. Working with the ESA, we developed a new wildfire mapping service that combined recent advances in Earth observation (EO), artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing to better identify the impact of wildfires. The AI-enabled wildfire mapping service was made available to the wider environmental community through an online data portal that provided free access to a range of EO data, tools and services.
Enabling efficient and transparent rescue and recovery
From governments helping citizens rebuild after devastating hurricanes, to businesses navigating safety measures while bringing employees back to work, we use digital technologies to make recovery processes more manageable and transparent. For example, for more than a decade, CGI has supported recovery efforts for some of the largest natural disasters in the U.S., including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, Sandy, Irma and Maria.
The CGI-developed Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery Solution (PR DRS) facilitates the distribution of aid during Puerto Rico’s ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria. We designed the solution to manage and store the documentation required throughout all stages of a project, from formation, to execution, to completion. Through our partnership with Puerto Rico, we provide capabilities for financial, grant and policy change management, program administration, data analytics, audit support, and systems integration—as well as a transparency portal that lets the public track how recovery funds are being used. As of May 2022, almost $80 billion of funding has been assigned, over $65 billion has been obligated and almost $25 billion has been disbursed.
As severe weather, disaster and even pandemic events become more prevalent, utilities face pressure to safely repair and maintain their infrastructure. A single digital platform providing a holistic view helps utilities to manage their response. CGI’s Storm Manager, part of our CGI OpenGrid360 suite, provides one integrated application to consolidate resource management, logistics, financials, work and situational awareness.
Up-to-date information is critical to safe and successful rescue efforts in the event of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and forest fires. CGI Sense360, developed in partnership with International aid organization I.S.A.R. (International Search and Rescue) in Germany, creates a holistic picture of a disaster using data from a variety of sources, including satellites, drones and maps; infrastructure, geospatial, weather and environmental data; and online databases, blogs and social media. The platform’s integrated and secure communications system combines augmented reality, situational images and other data to create a visual overview that is shared with emergency responders to enable faster, safer rescue operations.
After a natural disaster, accurate assessment of the impact is essential. Knowing the extent and type of damage makes it possible to identify risks, making safe and rapid rescue and clean-up operations possible. CGI EnvironmentMonitor360 uses satellite imagery and EO data to evaluate damage to buildings, facilities and large land areas caused by natural disasters. Because space data is event and weather independent, it provides a continuous data source, including historical and non-visible data helping to identify potential issues that require close monitoring and rapid response. For example, risk assessments and “before and after” comparisons are done remotely, reducing risk and cost.
Ready to help when disasters strike
In addition to helping our clients with their disaster relief response, we’re committed to doing our part to support our communities around the world. From helping to organize on-the-ground volunteers, to partnering with organizations to deliver aid where needed, CGI and our professionals work to alleviate the effects of today’s environmental disasters. Learn more about our commitment to communities.