Weed, CA using Recovers for #BolesFire recovery

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Recovers powers #BolesFire recovery

Last week, the city of Weed, CA was devastated by a fire that destroyed 110 homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 residents. To help organize the city’s recovery efforts, the site Weed.Recovers.org has been adopted by the local organizations and government, serving as the central, online hub where residents can offer and request help.

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Want to help? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here at Recovers, we implement our disaster recovery platform in areas all around the world. These areas can always use a little extra help, and they may be close to where you live.  By following us on Twitter or liking our Facebook page, you will be able to keep up with:

  • Where we are launching
  • How you can help

And as you think about giving this holiday season, the Philippines can still use your help. Consider donating directly to the Philippines Red Cross.

Thanks for all of your support so far!

Recovers recognized by the White House as “Champions of Change”

On Tuesday, July 23, Recovers was honored as one of 7 “Champions of Change” at the White House in Washington, DC. Caitria O’Neill, Co-founder and CEO of Recovers accepted the award. You can see video of the acceptance and a blog post that will run on the White House website below. 

 

 

Recovers – White House Champions of Change

I’m the CEO of Recovers, a disaster preparedness and recovery technology company based in San Francisco. We help communities, local government, and insurance agencies mitigate risk and recover from disasters. Continue reading

Oklahoma Tornado Recovery – Moore.Recovers.org

Homepage-Moore

The outpouring of goodwill to Oklahoma in the wake of the May tornadoes has been incredible.

When the tornadoes struck Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, we launched and donated the site Moore.Recovers.org to the local community to help them organize their recovery effort.  Since its launch, the site has has been used by about 15 different local Oklahoma organizations, including Americorps, several local churches, and the Moore City Hall. It has proven invaluable to have all of these organizations and the local residents working together within the same system to meet the needs of the community.

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What not to do during a Red Flag Warning.

“Red Flag Warnings” are issued when there is a high risk of wildfire in the region. Here are some simple preventive steps you can take.

1. Clear dry and/or flammable materials away from your house.

Do a quick walk around your house, and keep an eye out for brush, dry leaves, or dead branches and make sure to move them away from your house. If you’re feeling friendly, do it for your neighbor’s house, too! Continue reading

The Year in Review

Creating new standards in disaster recovery

We would like to thank every one of you for your support throughout 2012. In the past year, the team at Recovers launched software for 12 communities, saw nearly 30,000 accounts created, and helped local organizers meet hundreds of reported needs. We’d like to take a moment to look back at the lessons we have learned this year.

A strong start

Our small team began working with disaster stricken communities across the United States nearly one year ago to design a better community toolkit. We believe that every community member has the right to help put their city back together, so we built tools for volunteer, donation and case management that anyone could safely use. The first version of this software was finished in April of 2012 and launched the same day in North Texas to aid a tornado recovery effort. Our site was able to gather $30,000 in donations in the first four days and captured the goodwill of more than 500 donors and volunteers.

More recently, after Hurricane Sandy our software was used in four neighborhoods of New York City to post important information and collect donations, volunteers, and needs. The software captured the goodwill of over 20,000 volunteers and donors, and helped organizers meet hundreds of needs. This database of resources can now be used in the long term recovery effort to rebuild the communities and meet the needs of those affected.

“We wouldn’t have been nearly as effective in helping people if it hadn’t been for the Recovers software.”
– Cooper Taylor from Forney, Texas

What we’ve learned

While our primary focus when launching software post-disaster is assisting the community, these “stress tests” in disaster zones teach us valuable lessons about recovery. We’re sharing a few of the most interesting points we’ve discovered this year.

1. The Remote Volunteer Organizer

Our software creates a new class of remote volunteer organizers, who can now log needs, donations, and volunteers into searchable online databases, and better match supply and demand.

Since the Recovers databases can be accessed anywhere via Internet, people from around the US can participate in local recovery efforts. Volunteers from groups like NPower and Occupy Sandy have directly helped by searching the databases and matching need with aid in their communities.

As things return to normal, and local volunteers return to work, we are seeing the power of these remote organizers. They can easily stay involved for longer, by spending just an hour or two at home in the evenings matching requests for help with available resources. Months after Hurricane Sandy, volunteers continue to meet reported needs.

2. Analyzing Disaster Data

Our software reveals gaps between “things people want to give”, and “things people need”. This information can help with resource distribution, guide donation, and highlight communities that need a little extra help.

Data from the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort revealed interesting information. First, 70% of all volunteers and donors that registered using our software occurred in the first 5 to 6 days after the Hurricane struck the city. The Recovers system was able to capture all of this initial interest which can now be used in the remainder of the recovery effort. If no system was in place, all of this goodwill would have been lost.

Second, knowing the most requested needs, donated items, and volunteered skills gives a good idea of what you can leverage in your recovery effort, and what gaps need to be filled. During Hurricane Sandy, it is now evident that clothing is the most readily available donation item, and that volunteers can be leveraged for debris removal purposes.

Stay tuned for more articles on this blog  as we continue to analyze our data from Hurricane Sandy and other recovery efforts! 

- The Team at Recovers.org

Why I’m coding for Recovers

Crossposted from codeforAmerica.org/blog.

My year as a Code for America Fellow was a whirlwind. Last January, inspiring thought leaders explained local government, startup processes, and the art of negotiation. In February we had 100+ meetings about problems in our city, and a boatload of suggested solutions we could build.

By March, I had something akin to an information hangover. We were ready to get started, but didn’t know the best place to begin. Once the team had picked a direction — in our case disaster preparedness and crisis response — the race began. With only a year, the feedback loop is fast, and the learning curve, steep. The closest comparison for me is downhill mountain biking: riding downhill, moving fast, and hopefully responding faster. Once at the bottom, having managed to not die, and still atop a bike, means you probably did an okay job. After all, in civic tech you might also be the only one who tried. De facto “best” at doing that thing despite yourself.

However, one sentiment shared across many of the fellows this year was that we weren’t done: there was more work to do. Sure some of us were done with parts of it, like the stipend, or being called “interns” or a nickname I came to dread, “the codies.” In such a fast-paced environment, we’d barely had a chance to correct and account for all the stuff learned along the way.

At the end of the year it was surprising how many options were open to me. Being able to show initiative, gumption, GitHub repos, and have ownership of projects being used out in the wild, solving real problems was incredibly valuable. Options are great — they can also be really overwhelming — and despite all of them, nothing really is a logical “next step” for a Code for America Fellow.

When Recovers.org, one of CfA’s Accelerator companies focused on crisis response and disaster preparedness, mentioned their team would be growing it took awhile to set in that I really could keep trying to tackle the issues I honed in on during my Fellowship in Austin. I could take what I learned and apply it to stuff.

I’m really excited about my new gig as Design Director at Recovers.org. I count myself as lucky to be working with an awesome team, doing important work that’s interesting, fun, and makes the world a better place.