Crowdsourcing Hurricane Relief and Rescue Efforts in Houston

September 1, 2017 By IdeaConnection

While the world looked on in shock at the pictures coming out of Houston, Texas, some people swung into action, developing crowdsourcing initiatives to help rescue victims and coordinate relief efforts to flood-hit areas.

Their actions have helped to save countless lives.

Relief and Rescue

Among the crowdsourcing undertakings is Harvey Relief, a people-powered project involving more than 500 individuals. It has created a map of resources such as where to find medical aid, food distribution points, pet care, shelter, pharmacy aid and more. There is also a rescue map involving hundreds of volunteers working 24 hours a day locating and working directly with victims in need of rescue and plotting them on the map.

It was started by Danny McGlashing, a coder and Jessica Decker who has a background in science visualization. She lives in San Francisco and when she woke up to the devastating news about the hurricane last Friday she put a call on Twitter, tagging people she had worked with, asking if they wanted to map resource information.  McGlashing was one of those who responded and the pair teamed up to form Harvey Relief.

Saving Lives

There is also Harvey Rescue, which was searching and mapping rescue requests on Twitter from people who were stranded. It was created in under three hours in a leaky office with intermittent power and has led to more than 7,600 active rescues. It is winding down now as a note on its website says that it is no longer needed.

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Reader Comments

Almost 2 Decades ago, I applied for a patent on "Hurricane Barriers"...I was told I needed a working model. Lacking funds, since I had just gotten married, I put this on the back burner. With a world united by the Internet, along with today's technologies, I am reaching out to you to get some interest in my idea.

Imagine turning a forecast of hurricanes into a welcome site. Imagine benefiting from each hurricane in the form of water collection and distribution to drought afflicted regions. Imagine the energy harvested from the sustained high winds. Imagine no more deaths and catastrophic damages from these magnificent displays of energy.

My website is so very new , I'm not finished building it yet, but the idea is there to be read. (I'm raising 2 kids on my own and I don't have much time or money to dedicate to building it, but I do what I can, when I can...). It's my hope my idea can come to fruition, and lead to 1 less disaster we as humans must face.
Posted by Nicholas Michaels on October 3, 2017

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