Supporting Disaster Preparedness in Communities

Insurance Industry’s First Disaster Risk Reduction Service for Local Governments

Products & Service

To prevent losses for citizens due to natural disasters, local governments need to take timely actions, such as issuing evacuation order. Meanwhile, costs may arise (such as costs to open shelters) even if a disaster does not occur at the magnitude that was anticipated, so local governments face challenges in deciding when to issue evacuation order or other guidance if they aim to minimize losses for the community. In this context, Sompo Japan has developed services to support local governments in creating rapid response systems, by providing insurance to compensate them for costs associated with the issuance of evacuation order and other guidance, and by providing weather and response information.
Hundreds of local governments have already purchased the insurance since it was launched.

They will keep developing and expanding this product and service to improve disaster resilience, and collaborate with stakeholders to realize a safer, more secure world.

Improving Regional Resilience and Supporting Disaster Preparedness

Development and Supply of Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation System Using AI

Products & Service

Sompo Japan has concluded a business alliance with One Concern, Inc. and Weathernews Inc. to jointly develop a disaster preparedness and mitigation system using AI to enhance local disaster preparedness. As our first project, we are developing and testing a system for flood and earthquake damage prediction in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto, Japan. We aim to assist the development of a community resilient to disasters and provide services that contribute to the security, health, and wellbeing of local residents.

●Background and outline

With the large number of major natural disasters in the past few years, there is a heightened need to develop new measures to address natural disasters, particularly given that disaster-related rules of experience and prediction methods amassed over the years have started to prove ineffective. In light of these conditions, in order to enhance local disaster preparedness capabilities, Sompo Japan has formed a business alliance with One Concern, a Silicon Valley (U.S.A.)-based startup specializing in disaster preparedness systems. The two companies have begun jointly deploying a disaster preparedness and mitigation system using advanced AI technology.

One Concern’s mission is to minimize the damage caused by any disaster. Guided by this mission, One Concern provides disaster prediction and disaster preparedness and mitigation systems using cutting-edge technologies such as AI. In the U.S.A., such systems have already been adopted by local governments such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Sompo Japan, One Concern, and Weathernews have commenced verification tests for the development of an original, localized disaster preparedness and mitigation system for Japan in the city of Kumamoto, as their first project to enhance disaster preparedness capabilities in the country. The system, as the first of its kind in Japan, will perform advanced, precise simulations of damage caused by disasters by making effective use of information supplied by Weathernews—specifically, historical weather and weather prediction data unique to Japan. As a result, the system will facilitate the development of a city resilient to disasters and will support the lives of local residents by contributing to their security, health, and wellbeing.

●Service details

The new system will enable accurate damage prediction services before, during and after natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, and real-time monitoring of the status of damage, at the level of blocks (lots). To do so, the system will harness AI and various types of data related to local disaster preparedness, such as information on weather and buildings.

Damage prediction system for flood

Damage prediction system for earthquake

●Moving forward

Following the verification tests from March 2019, Sompo Japan is aiming to develop a disaster prevention and mitigation system unique to Japan.
Sompo Japan, One Concern, and Weathernews will strengthen their activities by working closely with local governments to help realize “town development focused on disaster preparedness and mitigation” using the system. Looking ahead, Sompo Japan will evolve and enhance services that link the system and insurance products, as well as BCP consulting services that harness the expertise of Sompo Risk Management, which conducts the Sompo Holdings Group’s risk consulting business. By doing so, Sompo Japan will provide the support needed to ensure that people have security, health and wellbeing in their daily lives.

Bosai JAPAN-DA Project to Raise Disaster Awareness

Partnerships

Insurance being one of our core businesses, Sompo Japan focuses on raising public awareness of disasters. In the Bosai JAPAN-DA Project, they host puppet shows and experience-based workshops to teach children — society’s future leaders — and their guardians how to protect themselves and others in emergency situations.

The puppet show, performed by the Yumemi Trunk Puppet Theater Troupe, is an original adaptation of The Three Little Pigs. It tells the story of how the three pigs help each other to overcome various calamities (wind, rain, lightning, fire, etc.) caused by the big bad wolf. In the experience-based workshop, provided in partnership with the NPO Plus Arts, participants get to move their bodies in fun ways while gaining useful knowledge and skills for responding to crises.

As of March 2021, these events have been held 376 times across Japan attracting 72,745 people.