Japan’s rainy season typically brings torrential rains and flooding across the country, inundating cities with previously unpredictable water levels. With the most recent release of our One Concern Ready™ product, we are now supporting six additional municipalities – Okazaki, Okayama, etc. – in addition to Kumamoto City, Japan, in an initial rollout through this year’s flood season. Ready furthers our mission of making disasters less disastrous by helping cities evacuate more effectively, plan where to place shelters, and minimize the impact of disasters through preparation. Unlike One Concern Domino™ and One Concern DNA™, which are long-range products that help users tackle a variety of climate and extreme event scenarios, Ready focuses on the hours and days just before a typhoon or major rain storm hits or shortly after an earthquake strikes to help emergency managers prioritize event response when time is critical. 

Climate Resilience at Scale in Japan

Ready supports compound flooding and can model riverine, urban, and coastal flooding as well as the interactions between them. Unlike single-hazard modeling products, Ready can map the exponential impacts of a compound hazard event, such as a hurricane or typhoon that caused extreme river flow, coastal storm surge, and heavy rainfall. Each of these conditions on their own could have significant impacts, but together they are far more likely to overwhelm available emergency response systems and make event response more challenging. With Ready, decision-makers can consider even worst-case scenarios and plan alternative evacuation and emergency response efforts. In August of 2021, during dangerously heavy rainfall in Kumamoto City, Japan, our platform correctly predicted that the river would not flood. The river’s observed levels closely matched our predictions. 

University Collaborations and Technical Review Leads to Better Ready Modeling

Throughout the evolution of building Ready, we integrated feedback from premier experts in hazard science. We have continually improved our models throughout the development process to ensure accuracy in our insights. We first launched Ready in Japan as a flood forecasting system for the city of Kumamoto, on the island of Kyushu. Kumamoto City’s flood system includes a riverine, urban, coastal, and inundation model. We then aim to scale our modeling capabilities to the entirety of Japan. 

We collaborated with universities in both Japan and the U.S. as we built both the Kumamoto and nationwide models, co-authoring papers in the Journal of Ocean Modeling, Journal of Natural Hazards, Journal of Ocean Dynamics, and the Journal of Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science. We also integrated the feedback of our Technical Working Group, a group of external experts who validate and critique One Concern’s products and disaster science for completeness, accuracy, and depth. 

Improvements to Ready

With the recent launch of Ready Version 3, we sharpened the accuracy of our model parameters with the inclusion of claims datasets from our partner Sompo.  We also updated the frequency of the ingestion of weather data from Weathernews Inc. (WNI), a Japanese weather monitoring service, to hone our forecasting. 

In addition to accuracy improvements, we introduced new customization features such as modeling capabilities that allow users to separate riverine and inundation forecasts for individual insights. 

As we continue to improve Ready, we look forward to fostering resilience for our Japanese municipal partners and reducing the impacts of hazards through accurate, detailed forecasting.