Palantir Expands Commitment to Help Improve Disaster Response

Direct Relief will continue to expand work with technology company, Palantir, as a result of a Commitment to Action announced at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting last week in which the company pledged to help aid organizations utilize Palantir technology to focus assistance where it is needed most before, during, and after emergencies.

This commitment is the first of it’s kind, according to Palantir, and “brings together military knowledge, medical and pharmaceutical expertise, local partners, volunteers, data scientists, medical supplies, technology and general disaster relief to more efficiently meet the needs of vulnerable communities hit by calamities.”

Direct Relief and Team Rubicon, a disaster response veterans service organization, are Palantir’s first partners in the commitment because of their recent work with Palantir responding to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

During Hurricane Sandy, Direct Relief used Palantir to integrate information from in-house databases, nearby community health clinic partners, and other public data to conduct meteorological, social vulnerability, supply chain, and health risk analyses of areas in the path of the storm.

With this information, Direct Relief was able to pre-position supplies and medicine before the storm hit, analyze real-time weather data during the storm, and provide emergency medical supplies where they were needed most in the wake of the storm, as noted in an impact study by Palantir.

When volunteers and staff arrived on the ground, they used Palantir Mobile to collect and send data to Direct Relief headquarters in real-time. Palantir was also used to monitor infectious disease trends and ship critical medicines and supplies to the areas with the greatest need.

“[The partnership] took technology originally intended for the intelligence community and put it to work predicting where medicine, food and clothing needs would be greatest…saving valuable gas money, travel time and logistics work,” reported Neal Ungerleider  in Fast Company.

Direct Relief is excited to continue working together with Palantir to better assist those in need after disaster, a sentiment shared by Dr. Alexander Karp , founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies.

“The global challenge of humanitarian relief following a natural disaster is one of the most important problems of our time,” said Dr. Karp in a press release. “We are delighted to join the Clinton Global Initiative, and to work with Team Rubicon and Direct Relief. Together we can make a big difference.”

To view previous blog posts about Direct Relief’s use of Palantir during Hurricane Sandy, click here.

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