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. From last year’s SafetyDatapaloozas to Civic Hardware Hackathons to new apps and tools being made available on data.gov, the Initiative continues to expand, strengthening our Nation’s capacity for innovative disaster response and recovery along the way.
After more than 1,500 people participated in the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day last July, the #DisasterTech community has continued to grow and answer the Administration’s call to Unleash Innovation. Building upon the tools, services, and efforts showcased at Demo Day and the launch of the Initiative’s first major online presence, disasters.data.gov, we are excited to see technology and innovation teams from the public and private sectors continuing to step up by supporting America’s PrepareAthon! and today’s National Day of Action for disaster preparedness.
A host of new technology and innovation commitments being shared today include efforts on new interactive mapping tools, free and open source hardware designs, improved smartphone alerts, and a series of disaster resilience technology exhibits at the upcoming National Maker Faire, during a dedicated Week of Making this June 12 - 18. From free platforms that connect more than 59,000 neighborhoods and 750 local agencies across the country, to a network of 3,000 volunteers that has made over 14 million changes and additions to OpenStreetMap data in Ebola-affected regions, the numbers show this community’s dedication and collaborative spirit.
Throughout the day today you can follow the stories of innovators, entrepreneurs, agencies, companies, neighborhoods, and volunteers taking action with #PrepareAthon and #DisasterTech, and read more about technology and innovation commitments in support of the National Day of Action HERE.
To see what's happening in your community, or to register your own PrepareAthon activity, visit ready.gov/prepare – on this Day of Action and any day of the year.
Tamara Dickinson is Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
David Applegate is Associate Director for Natural Hazards at the US Geological Survey