Greetings entrepreneurs, makers, technologists, and creative #disastertech innovators!
Each year, emergencies and natural disasters challenge our communities and test our readiness. Strengthening our Nation’s resilience is critical -- our best work is done collaboratively as a shared responsibility with all community members contributing their talents, unique skills, perspectives, and needs.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Administration established The White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative to find effective ways to use technology to empower disaster survivors, first responders, communities, and all levels of government with critical information and collaboration resources.
Over the past two years through ongoing dialog and action, our capacity for innovative disaster response and recovery has continued to grow. Results include major commitments from the public and private sector, the first hardware hackathon for disaster preparedness held in support of the Initiative, numerous workshops, and the launch of disasters.data.gov as the Initiative’s first major online presence.
This innovative community is constantly seeking new ways to collaborate and leverage the creativity, social entrepreneurship, resourcefulness, and ingenuity of individuals and organizations to advance and strengthen national preparedness. Whether you’re a data steward who can unlock information and foster a culture of open data, an innovator who can address disaster preparedness challenges, or someone ready to join the “Innovation for Disasters” movement, we welcome everyone to our combined team.
With America’s PrepareAthon fast approaching next month, we encourage you to share how you are using technology and innovation to strengthen preparedness by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.We look forward to highlighting some of your stories on the April 30 National Day of Action where governments, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to take some action on that day to prepare themselves to respond to emergency situations.
Together, let’s continue to take action to prepare ourselves, our neighbors, our communities, our schools, and our workplaces before disaster strikes. Thank you for your continued energy, ingenuity, and collaborative spirit.
Rand Beers is Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.
Megan Smith is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.