Project Safety Net
Hurricane Sandy hit hard and fast and the response has been extraordinary. From FEMA to Grassroots Organizations, down to individual residents themselves. Everyone is helping out, with recovery efforts, but even with this overwhelming response, there was a lack of information sharing during the storm and people were left in the dark.
Danny, the civilian founder of the Occupy group ‘Occupy Police’ @OccupyPolice on twitter (which worked on calming tension between police and protesters during the height of the occupy protests) started a twitter account named @HC_Sandy (Now @SandyVolunteer and now @OccupySandy) to keep people updated by the minute before and during the storm. HC_Sandy grew a quick following as the updates and emergency information went out.
During the storm Danny was in touch with Occupy Wall St and explained to them how the information sharing that was being done through HC_Sandy and the rest of Occupy quickly got on board and ‘OccupySandy’ was born.
While many lost power, Danny made phone calls to Police Departments, Emergency Management Agencies and Red Cross teams up and down the East Coast for information on shelters, food, water and ice, volunteer efforts that people could join, donation centers where people could pick up and drop off needed items. We also called repeatedly for updates on the storm, power outages, flooded areas, and safety tips. Volunteers that assisted us also called 211 in their state and we quickly spread that info via Twitter and Facebook.
During all this, Danny was left scrambling for information, there was no main list being updated for the east coast, we were it, and that’s a problem. We want to build the solution.
Safety Net will be a central point for information and resources during emergencies and disasters. We will begin by creating a social network for those who want to combat disaster relief and those who already do. This will be done via a single website split up by locality. We’ll also create a detailed public list of EVERY shelter in the United States, and when disaster hits, we’ll update with a list of Open Emergency Shelters.
Food and water resources will be listed for EVERY town, city and state in America, should a disaster hit, these lists will be updated immediately to highlight who is actively distributing food and water during and after a disaster and where. For every town and city in America, we will list places where you can receive clothing free of charge. There will be an area built into Safety Net for anyone to build their own disaster relief groups, and a tool added for these groups to network and hold online discussions by locality, forums will be added for every state, and split up by ‘needs and donors/volunteers’ – A central event calender will be added for in house groups to promote discussions and preparedness. Safety Net groups will have the ability to set up their own page for monetary donations within the site as well as host their own public or private forum and video chat sessions.
We will have a news feature which will promote these in-house groups and their efforts, to the public. You, as a member of the public will be able to build your own local neighborhood, or city group, or join an existing one. The full use of Safety Net resources will be free for everyone.
We also need volunteers to make phone calls and collect information in their state for the next 12 months, this can be done easily from at home, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information to help. Safety Net breaks ground on November 15th with an update coming on November 26th.
UPDATE: 11/13 We’ve hit our first mark of $1200 and have purchased the software needed to begin building the community driven Safety Net site. This is going to be a very long project and we still need your support. For the latest Post-Sandy Volunteer Ops List Go Here: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/jur010 We are looking for volunteers in Canada, the UK and across Europe, please contact us via the email address at the bottom of this page.
US/Canadian Backers can donate here: Safety Net US/Canada
UK Backers can donate here: Safety Net UK