News & Research

Using data to shorten response time during a natural disaster

New Zealand is still reeling from two of the most significant climate events in our nation's history.

As the disasters unfolded, the CoreLogic team used our in-house data modelling capabilities to piece together a picture of the events that took place. This enabled us to understand and assess the potential damage, helping us support banks and government departments to prioritise and respond to their customers that had been most impacted.

The true extent of the damage

January 27, 2023 was the wettest day on record for Auckland, with close to a week of rain leading to extensive flooding. Categorised at the time as a one-in-a-hundred-year event, it was quickly followed by the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle. This subjected the North Island to further destructive flooding, storm surges and landslides, leaving many communities water-logged and without power or phone and internet connectivity and resulting in the declaration of a national state of emergency in early February.

Even before these twin disasters struck, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand was stress-testing the nation’s largest banks to understand their exposure to flood risk and the impacts of climate change.

Results of their 2022 survey showed that close to a quarter of banks’ residential mortgage exposures in Auckland were already ‘at risk’ to a one-in-a-hundred-year rainfall flood event.

Now the worst has eventuated, with the true financial cost being revealed by the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

Insurers will be providing $2.47 billion in support to people impacted by the Auckland Anniversary Weekend flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle, with 96,586 claims made so far in relation to the two events.

A rapid and in-depth response

As the January flooding emergency developed, CoreLogic analysed our flood data and models, matching them back to Auckland locations and properties to assess the potential impact. The projected depth of flooding was provided to banks and emergency services, signalling properties most likely to be adversely affected.

To supplement this analysis, CoreLogic commissioned a commercial satellite to be positioned above Gabrielle’s trajectory. The captured imagery was then overlaid with CoreLogic’s existing property and spatial data to glean critical information about pooled water and stress on properties, right across the Auckland area.

Civil defence data was acquired from local councils, which the CoreLogic team analysed and appended to properties, location by location, helping us to categorise and ‘sticker’ properties to indicate if they were safe to access. Collating our findings, this information was then provided directly to financial institutions and local and central government agencies to activate their responses.

Bringing together this comprehensive data allowed us to help lenders and councils identify customers and communities most likely to be impacted by the events, supporting them in responding as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How can organisations apply this response to future events?

New Zealand has seen multiple severe floods over the last three years in addition to those experience in January & February such as the flooding on the West Coast in July 2021, and across the North Island in March 2022. Climate scientists agree that these events are linked to climate change, and will continue to increase in frequency and severity.

CoreLogic now provides New Zealand organisations with a robust, systematic way to prepare for, monitor and respond to flood, storm and bushfire events.

  • Identify volume, type, value and location of impacted properties.
  • Prioritise vulnerable customers using proactive property level updates.
  • Curate appropriate assistance and hardship strategies.
  • Manage and customise valuation strategies, escalate to onsite inspections.
  • Estimate your organisation’s true level of climate exposure and risk.

Want to learn more? Reach out to your CoreLogic client director to discuss how CoreLogic’s suite of climate and hazard risk solutions can help your organisation plan for, and respond to,natural disasters.


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