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By Bud Walker, Vice President Sales &
Strategy, Melissa 

Nobody has to be reminded that we’re in the
middle of hurricane season, certainly not if they live in Texas or Florida.
They’re personally going through the experience of living in the path of lots
of wind and water.

For many others, however, including companies
and communities, risk comes in many forms, with wind and water joined by such
natural hazards as fire, hail, tornados and earthquakes. That’s why I’m so
excited about a new strategic partnership between Melissa and HazardHub, the leader in geographic risk data.

Our joint new Property Intelligence Solution
gives users a way to assign natural disaster risk scores to every single
property in the contiguous United States, specific to a natural occurrence.
 

Just think of the impact here. Now, individual
properties–business or homes–throughout the U.S. can be accurately scored for
their risk of particular natural hazards. No more guessing about, “Is my
business at pronounced risk of flooding?” or “To what degree is that
community prone to tornadoes?” 

Let’s see how it works. 

What Melissa brings to the equation is
location intelligence. We’re talking about things like address verification,
geocoding and reverse geocoding, IP location, and U.S. property data
enhancements on over 140 million U.S. properties.  

That includes parcel and building information,
calculated value, homeowner and mortgage information, sales history and more.
In fact, Melissa compiles in real time about 165 different metrics on
individual residential or commercial properties.  

HazardHub, in turn, brings to this powerful
dataset precise calculations of risk from flooding, wildfire, lightning
strikes, straight-line winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, damaging hail
and more, drawing on such sources as the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S.
Geological Survey, state and local governments, and many others. 

What Melissa has done by partnering with
HazardHub is to create a single platform for understanding precise property
risk for all these types of hazards, and with a precise risk score assigned for
any property.  

Data like this, and its accompanying analysis,
can vastly improve safety, reduce insurance costs and help drive smarter property
decisions.

Think about it:

 ·         Knowing
whether or not properties are in a flood, tsunami, fire or earthquake zone
can  help businesses better forecast their stocking and customer service
needs, including protective and recovery products tailored to specific
locations.

·         It
can help communities better understand how to allocate disaster resources in
advance, such as fire fighters, police and first responders, as well as
evacuation shelters.

·         Home
and business owners can better decide not only where to live and work but also
how to prepare for eventualities, for themselves, employees and families.

 ·         Health
care systems can more precisely target those areas–neighborhoods, blocks or
even specific buildings–with precise types of services based on risk scores.

·         Private
flood insurance presents a significant opportunity for insurers that at last
now have the right tools for precisely understanding this type of risk.

And don’t think this risk-scoring is a simple
or obvious job–you know, like “Yeah, we got it: Florida gets hurricanes
and Kansas gets tornadoes!”

Not all coastal properties have the same risk
from storm surges, for example. Straight-wind storms are complicated things,
arising only in areas where warm moist air meets cooler air sweeping southward.
Insights into the possibility of earthquakes derive from complicated
measurements of peak ground acceleration measuring ground shaking measured in
units of gravity. Fire protection risk scores come from a municipality polygon
file to determine in/out and a geospatial call to the fire stations available
from the Google points-of-interest (POI) API interface.

I think you get the idea.

We’re talking about a interactive combination
of deep data analytics, hard science and decades of statistics … a great step
forward in understanding our world and how to be better prepared to live and
work in it.

Melissa’s property intelligence tools
and services are available as software, on-premises and Web APIs, with
integrations for numerous third-party platforms, and batch service processing.
I hope you get a chance to check it out and the following: 
http://www.melissa.com/product-index.html.

Bud Walker is Vice President, Sales
& Strategy, at Melissa, responsible for managing the
strategic vision and next generation capabilities of the Melissa’s Data Quality
tools and services. He can be reached at 
bud.walker@melissa.com.

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