Geo Week News

June 17, 2022

Matterport Donates Digital Twin Technology to Accelerate FEMA Appeals Process

The partnership with SBP will start in Kentucky and is among the first in Matterport’s Exploration to Equity program.
Tornado damage found on Matterport Discover

Matterport made headlines with their debut of a new scan-to-BIM product back in November but a recently announced partnership with SBP showcases an entirely new area of focus. SBP is a non-profit focused on disaster relief and assistance based out of Louisiana, in which SBP will receive a donation of Matterport equipment and services to create digital twins to assist disaster-affected communities. It is among the first partnerships in Matterport’s Exploration to Equity social impact program. The partnership will be used to help those affected by the tornadoes that impacted the Midwest in late 2021.

This program will begin in particular in Kentucky to assist those who were impacted by the tornadoes that struck the area in December of last year. Specifically, SBP will be using Matterport cameras to create digital twins of damaged properties in the area, which will then be shared as part of SBP’s FEMA Appeals program. With the utilization of Matterport’s technology, the organization will be able to more quickly and accurately assess damage to then assist disaster survivors and work to help affected families maximize what they are awarded from FEMA while also moving that process more quickly.

Donations from Matterport will be used to provide direct support to SBP’s FEMA Appeals program. In the program, the organization works with marginalized homeowners who have been affected by disaster and have either been denied FEMA assistance or received sub-standard awards. Per SBP, the process to apply for and appeal FEMA awards has become increasingly burdensome and complicated over the years, and the program works with low-income and marginalized homeowners to navigate the process more quickly and effectively. With the help of the FEMA Appeals program, survivors have seen a 65.7 percent increase in their total FEMA award.

In order to appeal a FEMA Individual Assistance denial, or a sub-standard award, it is crucial for the assessment of the damage to be as accurate as possible. By utilizing Matterport’s donated technology and services, SBP can use digital twins to carry out inspections remotely and collaborate in real time, reducing the need to conduct repeat property visits. SBP anticipates the more efficient processes allowed by the donation from Matterport will allow the organization to support at least 100 low-income disaster survivors through its FEMA Appeals program. 

SBP, formerly known as the St. Bernard Project, was founded in 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The organization has rebuilt homes for more than 2,100 families, and has worked in 14 communities throughout the United States and the Bahamas. “At SBP, we provide under-resourced communities with the support they need to ensure an equitable recovery for all,” stated Chief Operating Officer Liz McCartney. 

The partnership is one of the first in Matterport’s Exploration to Equity program, first announced in April of this year. The program, which started with a partnership with Colorado’s Space Foundation Discovery Museum, aims to support nonprofit organizations to use Matterport’s digital twin technology to increase access for underrepresented groups. The program is open to all US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, as well as K-12 public schools and public universities. “At Matterport, we are committed to making digital twins more accessible to those in need through the Exploration to Equity program,” said Qadira Harris, Senior Director of Global Responsibility at Matterport.

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