Reducing Our Risk

Organization: 
Recovers

Entry Overview

Disaster recovery is often slow and disorganized. Some communities never fully recover. A Recovers website serves as the central communication hub for the community to collect donations, volunteers, and requests for help from individuals. The easy-to-use tools on the site allow all local organizations to manage these donations, volunteers, and requests for help, thereby organizing the chaos post-disaster and facilitating a fast, full recovery.

General Info
Chris
Kuryak
Email : 
support@recovers.org
Organization Address: 
155 9th St.
San Francisco, California 94103
United States
Problem
Population Impacted: 
250 Million affected by natural disasters per year
Hazard: 
Flooding
Identify the likelihood and frequency of this hazard : 
350 disasters per year
Explain how vulnerable the community is to this hazard: 
Every community is susceptible to natural disasters, but some more than others. This includes hurricanes, tornados, floods, typhoons, etc.
List the potential affects of this hazard: 
If it is severe, the community may never fully recover from a natural disaster.
Identify how sensitive the community is to these affects: 
Long and mismanaged disaster recoveries can have detrimental effects on the community's economy and population.
Action
Preparedness Goal: 
A community recovery website that can be deployed before and after disasters to facilitate recovery by collecting and managing donations, volunteers, and requests for help.
Implementing Actions: 

A Recovers website, located at YourTown.Recovers.org, provides a central online hub to prepare your community for a disaster and facilitate an efficient recovery.

Before a disaster, the site serves as an online hub that provides:

  • Communication tools for organizations and government agencies too collaborate and assign responsibilities. For example, who will collect donations, organize volunteers, or serve meals?
  • Training for organizations to become familiar with the tools on a Recovers site.
  • Awareness of what organizations are available after a disaster and their contact information.

After a disaster, the site becomes the online community hub that provides:

  • Confidential collection of resident needs, in-kind donations, and volunteer skills
  • Information of where to donate money directly to the community
  • Multiple levels of access for residents, organizations, and government agencies
  • Sub-domain specific to your community (ie https://Austin.Recovers.org)
  • Secure organizer area to manage resident needs, donations, and volunteers
  • Case management tools
  • A community resource map
  • Social media integration (Facebook, Twitter, and more)
  • Community communication tools via email and public news posts
  • Access to help from our partner organizations
  • Analytics and mapping tools for situational awareness 
  • Training and support
  • Data export to learn from past disasters and improve

 

Solution
Describe Your Solution: 

By having a Recovers site deployed before a disaster, a community will be able to recover more efficiently. We have seen that 70% of all of the online interest in helping a community (donations and volunteers) happens in the first 4-7 days after a disaster. Having a website up and running, with SEO optimization, will help you collect all of this interest. And even though you don't need all of the donations and volunteers in the first week after a disaster, you will need them in the coming months and years. A Recovers site allows a community to collect this interest and use it later in the recovery, when it is needed.

Finding reliable recovery information after a disaster is a problem. A Recovers site serves as a hub for reliable recovery information that can be accessed by any one, any time.

We have found that local organizations (non-profits, faith-based organizations, and businesses) do the majority of disaster recovery organizing. Unfortunately, there are no tools currently available to organizations manage recovery efforts. Therefore, they usually turn to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Docs to solve their problems. A Recovers site solves this problem by giving organizations easy-to-use tools to manage donations and volunteers to help meet the needs of their community.

Results
Economic?: 

There are large economic savings in several areas including helping uninsured or underinsured residents rebuild and get back on their feet, tracking of volunteer hours for federal reimbursement, and reducing the amount of government funds spent on repairing a town and fostering recovery. These savings have not been quantified yet.

Environmental?: 

Undetermined.

Social?: 

Following the tornadoes in Moore, OK in 2013, a Recovers site (Moore.Recovers.org) served as the central, online organizing hub for 15 different organizations working in disaster recovery. The site was used to meet over 500 requests for help and collect 1100 donations and 6000 volunteers.

What were the negative or unintended impacts (if any) associated with implementing this solution? : 

Undetermined.

Replication/Scale
Return on Investment: How much did it cost to implement these activities? How do your results above compare to this investment?: 

We spent about $4000 of company money to be on-the-ground in the Moore, OK disaster recovery and to garner engagement. However, our system has been proven effective without an on-the-ground presence from Recovers employees in several disasters, including the recent Boles Fires, where the city is now using the software for its long term recovery.

What are the main factors needed to successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?: 

Adoption by local government and local organizations before disasters happen.

Contest Info
Contest Name: 
Reducing Our Risk

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