Disaster Recovery Collaborative Work Order System
As with most worthwhile projects, CrisisCleanup has multiple converging story lines. After helping organize tens of thousands of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers to clean up after Tropical Storm Irene in August–October 2011, Aaron Titus began designing technology to improve volunteer efficiency. In August 2012 he deployed the alpha version of Crisis Cleanup to coordinate 700 volunteers from 5 organizations to assist 300 elderly residents in the aftermath of the "Derecho" thunderstorms in Southern New Jersey.
Aaron activated the system again after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in October, 2012, and invited dozens of other organisations to participate. With the added load, the system had to be rebuilt quickly. Mormon Helping Hands volunteer Jeremy Pack and several other talented developers rebuilt a more robust and user-friendly version the system on Google App Engine as an open source project. The system soon became a major hub of coordination activity for more than 100 Hurricane Sandy relief organisations.
In the meantime, the efforts of Occupy Sandy were in full-swing. They were experiencing the same issues as many other relief organisations: Poor communication, inconsistent canvassing, organizational overlap, and duplicated efforts. This lead to survey fatigue, asymmetric aide, and volunteers who were frustrated because it wasn't clear what needed to be done. Volunteers wanted to do better for themselves and neighbors. With his extensive community organizing, programming, and disaster recovery experience, Andy Gimma joins and now co-leads the Crisis Cleanup project.
In early 2013, Mississippi VOAD requested to use the system to coordinate recovery efforts after the Hattiesburg, MS tornado. The following week, Georgia VOAD requested to use the system to assist with tornado recovery in Gordon and Bartow counties. National VOAD will formally adopt Crisis Cleanup at its annual convention in May, 2013. We look forward to working with National VOAD.
The system is based upon a few foundational philosophies:
- The system should enable, not interfere with your existing business processes.
- The system should enable, not interfere with inter-organisation coalitions.
- No single organisation should be in charge of others without their consent.
- The system should make collaboration and communication not only convenient, but required.
- This is not the “One App to Rule them All.” The system should not be try to do things it was not intended to do.
- The system is open (but not public), and should therefore not contain sensitive personal information.
Crisis Cleanup's real innovation is the ability to coordinate tens of thousands of volunteers from hundreds of organisations to thousands of sites after a disaster. Crisis Cleanup proves that it is possible to create a near frictionless technological platform where inter-organisation Cooperation, Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration is not only convenient, but required.
Still want more background information? Okay... here's more background information than you probably want to know.
The People of Crisis Cleanup and Crisis Cleanup Australia
Aaron Titus, Project Manager
Aaron Titus is a husband and father of 6 children, and serves as the New Jersey representative to Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Helping Hands). In that capacity he helped organize the Mormon Helping Hands responses for Hurricane Irene, the New Jersey "Derecho" thunderstorms and Hurricane Sandy.
His full-time job is Chief Privacy Officer and Attorney at Identity Finder. Aaron is also the Privacy Director at the Liberty Coalition, and sits on the Management Council for the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group.
Mark Tregellas, Australian Project Manager
Mark Tregellas is also a husband and father of 3 children. He works as a police officer, and also as the President of the Returned and Services League of Australia, Mallacoota Sub-Branch.
Andy Gimma, Developer and Project Manager
Jeremy Pack, Developer
Jeremy Pack is a mathematician and software engineer on the Google Street View project. He lives with his wife and four children in Mountain View, California.
Chris Wood, Developer
Chris Wood is a freelance software developer and startup-ponderer based in London.
Bruce Christensen, Developer
Thanks to Karissa Phelps who designed our icons, Shekhar Sharma for use of this CSS template, and many other developers who have contributed to this project.