Real-time, Global, and Interoperable

Overview

The Disaster Response Teams app suite allows disaster response organizations to coordinate their response to a disaster whether it is a single-family home fire, a regional disaster such as a hurricane, or a global disaster such as a large earthquake affecting several countries where multiple national organizations partner together.

Software Architecture

The app suite supports the lifecycle of a disaster including team preparedness and training, deployment, and after-the-fact analysis. An upcoming release will support post-disaster reports. Collectively, these apps and cloud services implement an ambient intelligent, pervasive computing, and continuous computing disaster response environment.

The federated, mobile-cloud edge architecture enables a real-time, global view of an organization’s volunteers, assignments, teams, vehicles, and sites. Each Disaster Response Manager iPad app contains a real-time data replicate and is able to independently manage an organization’s volunteers who use the Disaster Response Volunteer iPhone and Apple Watch apps.

Unlike traditional enterprise solutions which require IT administrators to manage users and teams, the Disaster Response Teams apps empower managers with control over volunteer participation and team membership. This decentralized authentication model is based on Group Network Proximity as opposed to the traditional user account/profile/password authentication model. Group Network Proximity allows our systems to limit the amount of personally identifiable information gathered about each volunteer while still providing an organization with control over volunteer participation.

Our hope is that our apps enable a manager to use the best practices and organizational policies based on the ground truth in which he is living before and during a disaster. An administrative or regional manager can create the permanent teams representing an organization’s up-to-date staff of volunteers and employees and an on-site incident manager can create teams dynamically to represent the available staff on the scene. Furthermore, Group Network Proximity makes it just as easy for an incident manager to add a pre-certified volunteer to his team as it is to augment his team with walk-ins comprised of local residents with knowledge of the area, volunteers with specific language skills, a search dog handler, a boat owner, or volunteers from a partner organization; the apps are able to onboard these new volunteers on-the-fly.

App Features for Volunteers

The Disaster Response Volunteer app supports the following features:

  • Register availability on one or more disaster response efforts.
  • Receive and respond to assignments on iPhone, Siri, and Apple Watch.
  • Receive team alerts and view teams.
  • Participate in audio and video conference calls.
  • Have a streamlined check-in/check-out process at a disaster site.

App Features for Managers

The Disaster Response Manager app supports the following features:

  • Support the unique requirements of multiple types of managers including the local incident manager, regional manager, as well as a national disaster response manager.
  • Group volunteers into teams. Administrative or regional managers can create permanent teams representing an organization’s up-to-date staff of volunteers and employees. On-site incident managers can create teams dynamically to represent the available staff on the scene.
  • Assign volunteers to specific tasks. Volunteers can update their task status via the iPhone app, Apple Watch app, or Siri… whichever is most convenient for them.
  • Visualize a real-time, global view of volunteers, assignments, teams, vehicles, and sites.
  • Broadcast wireless announcements at locations such as staff shelters.
  • Participate in audio and video conference calls with one-tap connections.
  • Streamline and automate volunteer check-ins.
  • Visualize the location of an organization’s volunteers and vehicles on a live map.
  • On-board partner organizations and external healthcare professionals on-the-fly.
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