How IBM Is Trying to Help Save You From a Hurricane

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- They say Mother Nature can strike at the worst times and occasionally be unpredictable.

IBM (IBM) and the The Weather Company want to stop that.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM unveiled the first steps Monday from its recent alliance with The Weather Company, allowing communities nationwide to track storms and create disaster and emergency response plans with real-time data and analytics. Both parties, which announced the partnership in March, want to help cut the cost of natural disasters, both economically and in saving lives.

In March, IBM said it would use weather data from Weather Services International, a division of The Weather Company, and make it available to IBM's clients through Watson Analytics. Watson Analytics is a web-based tool that helps companies understand various data sets, and also comes with Twitter data. IBM clients will also be able to build their own applications with weather data through the BlueMix developer platform.

IBM's Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Emergency Management takes historical data and uses analytics, data visualization and its ability to collaborate in real-time to help agencies determine the best methods for prevention and crisis management. 

The IOC is part of IBM's Safer Planet initiative.

IBM, which is in transition, has relied on its analytics business as a source of revenue. In 2014, IBM's analytics business accounted for $17 billion in revenue. Total revenue in 2014 was $92.8 billion, down from $106.92 billion in 2011.

Analytics, cloud, mobility, security and social - are part of IBM's plan to turn the company around. By 2019, IBM expects these core initiatives to account for $40 billion in revenue, up from $25 billion in 2014.

"Big data is revolutionizing emergency management and transforming how communities protect citizens and property in times of emergency -- which can range from hurricanes and snowstorms to highway accidents and riots," said Robert Griffin, general manager, safer planet at IBM. "The IOC for Emergency Management from IBM enables data sharing across organizational boundaries and applies sophisticated analytics to provide insight for future incident planning and response."

In 2014, natural catastrophes cost an estimated $110 billion, while taking 7,700 lives, according to data from reinsurance company, MunichRe.

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