IBM today announced that a team of 6 of its experts will review Vishakhapatnam’s (Vizag) emergency management system to provide strategic recommendations for disaster management, helping the city become more resilient.
The IBM team will help the city develop an efficient emergency communication system that would disseminate information to all stakeholders during and after a disaster such as HUDHUD, which was amongst the strongest and most destructive tropical cyclonic storm to ever hit any Indian city. Better coordination will help the city become functional more quickly in the wake of such an event.
The IBM team will also use Watson Analytics Professional Edition to uncover trends in city data. This might include studying travel patterns, public health, or the effects of man-made and weather events. The tool can understand questions posed in natural, non-technical language, and help its users collaborate, predict and plan.
In the presence of M Yuvraj, District Collector, Vishakhapatnam the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge program was launched in Vizag, today. On this occasion, he said, “Our vision is to build a city which is disaster resilient, thus ensuring citizen safety. We are very happy to be associated with IBM, which is a global leader and committed to bring the best of their Smarter Cities Challenge capabilities, to help us address our most critical challenge.”
“Vishakhapatnam is one of the 16 cities awarded an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant for 2015 and 2016,” said Mamtha Sharma, Head Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM India. “The IBM team with varied domain expertise across geographies is coming together to deliver recommendations that will help the city be better prepared for any natural disaster in the future. The project will identify and recommend best practices that would help the District Collectorate to come up with a robust emergency response system.”
IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge is a pro bono initiative that helps cities with some of the pressing challenges ranging from jobs creation, transportation, and public safety, to healthcare, revenue, social services, and public works. The 16 cities and regions were selected as winners for 2015 -16 from a highly competitive pool of more than 100 cities around the world.
By the end of 2016, IBM aims to make Smarter Cities Challenge grants to more than 130 cities worldwide chosen from more than 600 applicants, with nearly 800 of IBM top experts delivering pro bono services valued at more than USD $66 million. Each consulting engagement has a commercial value of USD $500,000.
Projects informed by IBM advice have helped to upgrade skills of city staff, procure funding, made streets safer, improved transportation, cut bureaucracy, created jobs, and protected the environment. Enabled cities win prestigious awards, and made them more competitive, thereby significantly improving the quality of life for their residents.
A video summarizing IBM Smarter Cities Challenge projects can be viewed here and more background about the program and its many successes can be found atwww.smartercitieschallenge.org.
Follow all of IBM’s citizenship initiatives by visiting the CitizenIBM blog at www.citizenIBM.com and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM. For more information about IBM citizenship, please visit www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility