When Hurricane Harvey made landfall last month, dumping over 50 inches of rain on the Houston area, hundreds of strangers from all over the country were eager to help with relief efforts.
We were proud to be a part of it through the Fulcrum Community initiative. Here’s a recap:
Crowdsourcing a Map of Harvey Relief Sites
As she watched Harvey barrel toward Texas from her home in northern California, Jessica Decker knew she needed to take action. A front-end developer and cartographer with experience in open-source mapping, she decided to create a map of resources for Houston residents affected by the storm.
Having already been a Fulcrum user, Jessica reached out to us for help. Together, Jessica and the Fulcrum Community team worked quickly to create an app that would enable volunteers on the ground — or anywhere — to mark and share the location of available resources.
Released earlier this year, Fulcrum Community is a no-cost version of our popular field data collection software that was created for use in disaster response scenarios and humanitarian projects. Now, it would be put to the test.
Jessica took to Twitter to call for volunteers to contribute to the map, and the response was immediate. “It blew up so fast!” she said.
A Data Collection App that Anyone Can Use
“Most people would be like, ‘I’m not that tech savvy’ at first,” Jessica said. But she and other contributors created training materials and videos showing how easy the app is to use.
Once the volunteers dug in, they could see their work appear instantly. Other participants (those who weren’t located in the affected areas) scraped Twitter or just made calls to ensure the resource map stayed current.
All told, more than 200 people contributed to the relief map through Fulcrum, which listed more than 1,400 resources, including medical facilities, food drop-off and distribution centers, shelters, animal hospitals, and more.
At last count, between Jessica’s Fulcrum map & the other crowdsourced projects available, more than 28,000 survivors, rescuers, & volunteers utilized these resources during and after the hurricane.
One thing is for sure: The contributors were happy to participate in the relief effort!
“A lot of people thanked us,” Jessica said. “They couldn’t send money or didn’t know where to send money. They felt helpless.”
In recognition of her work, Jessica was invited to the Churchill Club as a Community Benefactor at CHURCHILLS 2017, an event that honors innovators, leaders, and collaborators who are contributing to the greater good.
A Free Tool for Nonprofits, NGOs, and Government Entities
Fulcrum Community is a no-cost, short-term data collection solution designed for disaster response, damage assessment, environmental protection, and other humanitarian projects. We are honored that — through Jessica and all the other volunteers on the ground — Fulcrum Community was able to make a difference during a time of need.
If you’re part of a humanitarian organization, nonprofit, NGO, or government entity, we invite you to view a demo, or apply for your own provisioned Fulcrum Community account.