Fujitsu marshals resources to help recovery after the historic 2011 earthquake

The massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan impacted people and businesses throughout the country, including global company Fujitsu Ltd.

A year after killer tsunami

But the Tokyo-based organization did not let the disaster shut it down. Fujitsu formed a Central Disaster Response Headquarters in the earthquake's aftermath. That effort, headed by the company's president, consisted of two units: one focused on supporting in-house restoration, and the other on the company's customers, plants and R&D locations. Using teleconferencing to communicate, the two units worked together to assess the safety of employees and customers, collect damage reports and support recovery efforts.

Fujitsu also offered products and services to enhance the safety and security of its customers. For example, it developed a free cloud service support program and made it available to companies, local authorities and other organizations working on recovery efforts. Fujitsu provided servers, storage and other infrastructure, as well as SMS, email, webconferencing, e-learning and other SaaS applications. And it shared information via a website that collected details on customer damage and restoration.

Meanwhile, Fujitsu's cloud services enabled workers to monitor and rapidly respond to the continually changing needs of evacuation centers in areas affected by rolling power outages. Fujitsu loaned 2,000 PCs to more than 100 evacuation centers to enable those living there to rapidly access information via the Internet. The company also used Internet TV capabilities to let people view local TV programs, and linked the TV stations with evacuation centers by providing live, on-demand equipment for free. This enabled evacuees to stay informed about what was happening within the disaster areas.

Although the magnitude of the 2011 earthquake was unprecedented in Japan, Fujitsu's efforts were not. It already had a track record of using technology to better respond to crises. For example, it had previously provided on-site, cloud-based services for the early detection of cases of foot-and-mouth disease and avian flu; those cloud-based services enabled officials to rapidly share information and help prevent the spread of disease.

Fujitsu provided the free cloud services through March 2012; at that point, the major activities associated with the initial response to the earthquake and tsunami were completed. But the company plans to continue to support recovery and rebuilding efforts through services that address real, on-site needs. It is also one of nine companies teaming up to build an earthquake-resilient, environmentally friendly urban community in a city damaged by the earthquake.

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This story, "Fujitsu marshals resources to help recovery after the historic 2011 earthquake" was originally published by Computerworld .

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