Disaster Preparedness Requires a 211 System. New York City Still Doesn’t Have One.

Over the last few weeks, New Yorkers have watched with great anxiety as Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, among many other places, were pummeled by massive hurricanes. Whenever we see storm destruction, memories of Sandy re-enter our consciousness; as does the question: Is New York City significantly better prepared for the next big one? My […]

Presenting the “Open Aid Movement” at the Open Source Bridge Conference

“Open source” is a method for putting intellectual property in the public domain, allowing anyone to use it however they see fit. I’m an advocate of the “open source way” because I believe that if more people shared intellectual property of all types – whether its farming techniques, software code, music, etc – then we’ll […]

Introducing Data Models for Human(itarian) Services

Immediately after a disaster, information managers collect information about who is doing what, where, and turn it into “3W Reports.” While some groups have custom software for collecting this information, the most popular software tool for this work is the spreadsheet. Indeed, the spreadsheet is still the “lingua franca” of the humanitarian aid community, which […]

Sarapis Supports the NYCLTRC

All five of the borough-based Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) that emerged in response to Superstorm Sandy (2012) have come together to form the New York City Long Term Recovery Coalition.  We’ve brought a global team of FLO software developers to together to support them. Check out NYC:Prepared. We’re focused on supporting communities that organize themselves to be more […]

NYC:Prepared’s Human Services Data Initiative

This post originally appeared on the NYC:Prepared blog New York City has over 8 million residents and over ten thousands 501(c)(3) nonprofits providing a vast variety of services to the public. After Sandy, the need for these “human services” has expanded dramatically. Problem If you dial “211” almost anywhere in America, you will be connected […]

What is “Data Preparedness”?

This post originally appeared on the NYC:Prepared blog. One of the main goals of disaster preparedness work is to simplify and support decision-making processes before, during and after an emergency situation. One way to do this is to make sure high quality, up-to-date information is available in an accessible format to a wide range of […]

Solutions for VOADs

This post is an updated version of the previous post entitled FLO Disaster Relief Software – Recommendations for NVOAD.  It was originally posted on the NYC:Prepared website. Nine months ago, I attended the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters Convening in Elizabeth, NJ. It was a fantastic event in which people from over 50 nonprofit, […]

Sandy, Sahana and Sarapis

When “Superstorm Sandy” hit New York City on October 30th, dozens of relief organizations, hundreds of grassroots groups and thousands of people mobilized to provide aids to those most affected. The challenge of coordinating such a relief effort was felt by everyone involved. How do you keep track of who has what resources, who is […]