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Google is using AI to predict floods—and sending cash to people before disaster hits

Adele Peters of Fast Company reports on Google’s efforts to reduce flood damage.

The C3 Take
  • Google’s Flood Hub tool uses satellite imaging and AI to predict when floods are going to impact communities as early as seven days in advance and allocates cash transfers to these regions.
  • The company will begin testing its technology this summer in Nigeria and has donated $4.6 million to two nonprofits to disburse money to these communities.
  • Studies have found that advance aid and cash transfers help communities navigate disasters by stockpiling food, refurbishing homes, and mitigating flooding.

“GiveDirectly also piloted the idea in Mozambique last year, giving families $225 three or four days before a flood. ‘Some families used [the cash] to purchase essential supplies like food and medicine,’ Lummis says. ‘Some people relocated to safer areas. In some cases, people immediately started to make reinforcements to their homes, building stronger structures. Some people spent the cash immediately after to reinvest in businesses or buy seeds to replant because their crops had been destroyed.'”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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