Hurricane Dorian: Residents and Businesses Brace as Storm Advances
SEPT. 2 – Hurricane Dorian brought damaging winds, rain and storm surge to the Bahamas on Sunday and Monday. The slow-moving Category 4 hurricane was on a westerly path in the Atlantic Ocean toward the southeastern U.S., with hurricane and storm-surge warnings issued for parts of the Florida coast and watches elsewhere.
According to The Weather Company, an IBM Business, Dorian presents a threat from Florida to southeast Virginia during the week, though what part of the coast experiences hurricane conditions remains uncertain and is dependent on the exact track. Forecasters at The Weather Company said residents along the southeast U.S. coast should have hurricane plans ready and monitor Dorian closely.
Paul Walsh, Global Director of Consumer Weather Strategy with IBM Global Business Services, said in an interview on Friday with Yahoo! Finance that consumers and businesses were preparing as the storm approached. IBM Business Resiliency Services works with clients around the world in responding to hurricanes and other natural disasters.
The Weather Company meteorologists have access to a huge network of sensors and models, pulling information on temperatures, windspeeds and the movement of clouds from satellites, weather stations and IoT sensors. The Weather Channel, part of IBM’s The Weather Company, uses Watson AI to process real-time weather data and models and historical hurricane data.
Once a storm hits, the need for information remains critical. The United Way Worldwide activated IBM’s CARLA (Cognitive Automated Response Learning Agent) ahead of Dorian. The chatbot uses Natural Language Processing and AI to answer questions. The collaboration between IBM and United Way went to work in Pensacola last year after Hurricane Michael, helping storm victims find shelters, open roads and gas stations.
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