Natural disasters – like earthquakes, floods or pandemics – can have massive, sometimes disastrous, impacts on businesses. For example, when the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes struck Canterbury, we weren't as ready as we should have been, and the impact was devastating. It begs the question: if the use of data and technology had been more widespread at the time, would it have lessened that impact?
New Zealand isn't called 'the shaky isles' for nothing. Earthquakes are a fact of life here; the past decade has seen significant seismic activity and the science tells us to expect more in the future. We can't prevent the quakes, but we can be prepared for them and with Sentinel, we have the technology to help us make smart, fast decisions after they’ve occurred.
When an earthquake strikes, the go-to resource for most New Zealanders is GeoNet. Following an event, people quickly jump onto the site to review the magnitude and the intensity of the quake or “reported shaking”. But before accepting this information, it’s important to first understand how GeoNet sources these reports.
For the past ten years, Christchurch and surrounding areas have continued to experience on-going seismic activity. Sometimes the quakes aren't widely felt, others are short sharp jolts that see Twitter and Facebook light up. The severity of ground shaking during an earthquake, as it's related to specific building locations and the structure of those buildings, can have an impact on the safety of those buildings and whether they should be occupied or not.
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It may come as somewhat of a surprise, but what we've learned here at Sentinel is that since the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, Kiwi businesses and organisations are still not as prepared for them as they should be. This is true even of Canterbury businesses, who've been through significant seismic events.
New Zealand has a very shaky history. The last decade has seen significant seismic activity, ranging from barely noticeable to highly destructive. And the science tells us that it will continue on this way - meaning that everyone, from individuals to business owners to managers of large infrastructure, needs to be ready for future events.