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The Role of Partnerships in Wildfire Resilience – An AWS & BlackBerry Perspective

The wildfires that ravaged Maui, Hawaii, set a precedent as among the deadliest in U.S. history, and early analysis of the disaster points to failed communications as a leading factor contributing to the tragic loss of life.

Climate-related disasters like storms, floods, and wildfires are becoming more frequent, expensive, and severe. This increases the risk to life, property, and the well-being of communities around the planet. That’s why it’s more important than ever to work together and find new ways to make our communities more resilient. BlackBerry and key partners like Amazon Web Services (AWS) are helping to achieve this by offering reliable critical event management systems with robust cybersecurity built in, with multi-channel communications that can’t be shut down by a single point of failure.

This approach is crucial to help save lives when disasters strike, as the consequences can be fatal when we fail to do so.

The Role of Trust

The role of trust in disaster response cannot be overstated. It is necessary for the public to trust the sources of the information they receive, as only then will they take action to mitigate and react to disasters. Organizations responsible for public safety have an obligation to foster this trust through open communication and joint cooperation, to provide a coordinated response during a crisis and save lives. Critical event management solutions play a key role in providing this trust lifeline.

During a critical event, timely and accurate information can save lives. People need essential information about an event, such as its progress, evacuation procedures, and available resources, and they need it in real-time to make decisions, take precautions, and seek assistance. As well, they must be confident that the information they are receiving is reliable, which means that the communications solution must be secure and multi-modal.

Partnerships for Innovation

Innovation can help expand our capacity for using technology for more effective disaster preparedness and response. The partnership between AWS and BlackBerry is an example of the impact innovation can have.

In 2021, BlackBerry announced a first-of-its-kind early-warning system for climate-related events, using intelligent collection and processing of large amounts of sensor data to generate alerts based on the data insights.

The solution is based on BlackBerry® AtHoc®, the most secure critical event management solution in the market. AtHoc lives in the AWS cloud across five regions, to deliver ultra-low latency for mass communications. It leverages several AWS services, including EC2, EKS, Lambda, and DynamoDB.

Together, our companies are focused on partnering with government agencies and local authorities to enable communities with this life-saving solution, allowing them to become more resilient in the face of floods, wildfires, clean water crises, and other emergencies.

Proven Protection

The technology is being used in Canada, where the nation has faced a historic year with almost 6,000 wildfires to date, and over 1,000 wildfires still actively burning today. Their impact is far-reaching, with a record amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, and smoke and haze reaching across Canada’s borders into the United States and Europe.

To aid its response and relief efforts around this year’s wildfires, the Government of Canada has deployed BlackBerry AtHoc to send thousands of messages to municipalities, and to coordinate among multiple response agencies.  The American Red Cross also uses BlackBerry AtHoc to coordinate its disaster response efforts, further highlighting the value of using trusted, innovative solutions that can target messages by location, so that affected individuals can receive information specific to their situation.

Critical event management solutions foster trust by ensuring the reliable flow of timely and actionable information — information that saves lives.

Learn More

To learn more about how BlackBerry and AWS keep communities safe, click here.

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Neelam Sandhu

About Neelam Sandhu

Neelam Sandhu was previously Chief Elite Customer Success Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, at BlackBerry.

Réjean Bourgault

About Réjean Bourgault

Réjean Bourgault is Country Leader and Managing Director - Canada Public Sector - Amazon Web Services (AWS).