When Hurricane Ian struck southwest Florida, tens of thousands of people feared losing their homes. Amidst the chaos and devastation, HighTide Intelligence witnessed an unprecedented surge in website traffic—approximately 100 times the usual volume. It was a cry for help from Florida homeowners desperately seeking assistance and answers.
This surge in traffic was more than just numbers on a graph; it represented a dire need for action. “To us, this traffic surge was much more than numbers on a graph. It was a cry for help from Florida homeowners. We wanted to be ready to answer that call next time, so we could provide flood risk data and solutions and give homeowners agency to protect themselves from flooding,” says Christian Bader, HighTide’s COO and Co-founder.
Motivated by the urgency to aid and empower homeowners, the HighTide team convened the same week to embark on a mission. We sought to develop a platform designed exclusively for homeowners—a platform that would make flood risk data understandable, actionable, and accessible to everyone. This platform became known as Arkly.
“It was frustrating to have flood risk data for every coastal property in Florida locked up in my computer while so many homeowners wanted to know if they were at risk. I wanted Arkly to make our data understandable to everyone, so that someone non-technical like my mom could use it and make an informed decision,” says Dr. Noah Dewar, HighTide’s CTO and Co-founder.
Our entire team sprinted for months, working tirelessly to build Arkly. On March 24, 2023, we proudly released the beta version of Arkly to the public. It marked a pivotal moment—a significant step towards equipping homeowners with the knowledge and tools they needed to protect their homes and livelihoods. HighTide’s CEO and Co-founder, Adrian Santiago Tate, took Arkly to public flood risk workshops and also went door to door to gather feedback directly from homeowners. Through iterative feedback and collaboration with homeowners, the HighTide team made Arkly easy to use, ensuring homeowners could understand their flood risk, explore insurance options, and access mitigation solutions.
“I’m an engineer and a geophysicist. I never expected to be involved with insurance. However, after a decade-long mission to find scalable solutions to flooding, the best thing homeowners in Florida can do at this stage of the hurricane season is to buy flood insurance,” emphasizes HighTide’s CEO.
With Arkly, HighTide continues its mission to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions in safeguarding their homes and livelihoods.