disaster relief

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A Whole New Dimension As Manufacturing Goes 3D

John Hearne | Irish Examiner | January 11, 2014

If you want to get some idea of the hype surrounding 3D printing, check out what the stockmarket thinks. When Voxeljet, a German manufacturer of 3D, printers staged their initial public offering last month, its shares instantly doubled. [...] Read More »

Asia Foundation At Google’s Big Tent On Open Data, Disasters

Michelle Chang Rodriguez | The Asia Foundation | June 27, 2013

On July 2 in Sendai, Japan, nearly a year and a half after the tragic earthquake and tsunami devastated the region, The Asia Foundation will participate in a Google conference to examine using open data in disaster relief. [...] Read More »

Coding in a Safe Place

The Python Software Foundation's (PSF) Director Carol Willing is ready for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women conference to start on October 14. One of the many highlights of her week will most definitely be the Open Source Day Codeathon, where some attendees will be making their very first contributions to open source. Carol will be mentoring coders for OpenHatch and the Systers' Volunteer Management System. OpenHatch matches people with projects, and Systers is the largest tech forum for women in the world. Learn more about these projects, and the PSF's role at Grace Hopper this year, in this interview.

Community Health Network in Houston Leverages Open Source Tech to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Undaunted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network (SFA) responded to the crisis by leveraging open source technology to reach out to their patients and victims of the hurricane in areas of Texas that are virtually inaccessible. The Health Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) covering Brazoria County, is one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey and currently recovering. Using an advanced cloud-based version of the OpenEMR software, the SFA Community Health Network has been able to treat patients in clinics physically unreachable by their medical providers.

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Creating a High-Speed Internet Lane for Emergency Situations

During large disasters, like hurricanes, wildfires and terrorist attacks, people want emergency responders to arrive quickly and help people deal with the crisis. In order to do their best, police, medics, firefighters and those who manage them need lots of information: Who is located where, needing what help? And what equipment and which rescuers are available to intervene? With all of the technology we have, it might seem that gathering and sharing lots of information would be pretty simple. But communicating through a disaster is much more challenging than it appears...

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CrisisNET Speedily Aggregates Social Data In Disaster Situations

Katie Collins | Wired | June 10, 2014

Not-for-profit software company Ushahidi has launched CrisNET, an open-source platform that it claims will dramatically reduce the amount of time that it takes journalists, analysts and humanitarian organisations to get their hands on well-structured, crowdsourced data in the midst of conflict and disaster. Read More »

Crowd-Sourced Maps May Help When Disasters Hit

Joel Winston | SciDev.Net | December 8, 2013

A free online map of the world that is created by its users is helping developing nations become more resilient to disasters, the Open Source Convention in Portland, United States, heard last month (22-26 July). Read More »

Disaster Relief Now From DrupalCon

Michael D. Roden | OpenSource.com | June 3, 2013

In an overnight, grassroots movement, the open source platform Drupal has made an impact in Oklahoma. A group of more than 70 volunteer code sprinters—made up of developers, designers, and sys admins—congregated late Tuesday night at DrupalCon in Portland to create help4ok.org. Read More »

DoD, Partners Share Mapping Technology For Disaster Relief

Cheryl Pellerin | Directions Magazine | July 30, 2014

The Defense Department is using GeoSHAPE tool that will soon be available to assist countries and organizations dealing with the deadly consequences of hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters and humanitarian crises, experts from DoD. The open-source tool is not directly related to shapefiles; the acronym stands for geospatial tool for security, humanitarian assistance and partnership engagement...

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Drones and the Future of Disaster Response

Four continental states and one U.S. territory took a beating this fall as one natural disaster after another rocked communities in Northern California and along the Gulf Coast, spreading disaster relief resources and personnel thin as federal, state, and local governments scrabbled to address the crises. Wildfires in California's wine country claimed at least 42 lives, 8,400 structures, and 245,000 acres of land in October. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma pummeled Louisiana, Texas, and Florida only to be followed by Hurricane Maria, which slammed Puerto Rico on September 20 and left much of the U.S. territory without communications systems, electricity, clean water, or functioning hospitals....

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Elon, Do We Have a Disaster for You!

One of the most interesting twists resulting from Hurricane Maria striking Puerto Rico was Elon Musk's offer that Tesla could help Puerto Rico solve its energy crisis, with a long-term, 21st century fix. After all, its electrical grid was devastated, with almost all the power wiped out. It didn't help that even prior to this disaster its system was antiquated and badly in need of repairs. It is telling that we don't have similar offers to rebuild the Puerto Rico's health care system, which is similarly devastated. Or, for that matter, our system, which is its own kind of disaster. Mr. Musk was asked on Twitter if Tesla could help Puerto Rico using solar and battery power, and he responded in the affirmative, saying it had done so on smaller islands but faced no scalablity issues...

Flinders University App Allows Mobile Phones to Maintain Contact When There’s No Signal

Brad Crouch | The Advertiser | May 16, 2016

An app developed by Flinders University to maintain mobile phone contact in disaster zones with no cellular signals has won a $279,000 humanitarian award. The Serval Mesh software lets users talk and text each other even when the usual mobile phone coverage fails. It is one of five winners in the Pacific Humanitarian Challenge, sponsored by the Federal Government, who will share $2 million prizemoney to further develop their projects...

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How Disaster Relief Efforts Could Be Improved with Game Theory

The number of disasters has doubled globally since the 1980s, with the damage and losses estimated at an average US$100 billion a year since the new millennium, and the number of people affected also growing. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the costliest natural disaster in the U.S., with estimates between $100 billion and $125 billion. The death toll of Katrina is still being debated, but we know that at least 2,000 were killed, and thousands were left homeless. Worldwide, the toll is staggering. The triple disaster of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that started March 11, 2011 in Fukushima, Japan killed thousands, as did the 2010 Haiti earthquake...

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How Open Government Is Helping With Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, two more "unprecedented" hurricanes made their way to the southeastern United States. Although changes in Hurricane Irma's path spared Florida from the bulk of the damage, both Irma and Maria directly hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hurricane Maria was particularly devastating for the more than 3.5 million American citizens living in these U.S. Caribbean territories. The CEO of Puerto Rico's sole electric company indicated that the grid had been "basically destroyed." Without electricity, communications were severely limited. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, embracing open government principles—such as open data, collaboration between citizens and government, and transparency—can save lives.

Is This The Best Humanity Can Do For The Philippines?

Conor Friedersdorf | The Atlantic | November 11, 2013

Now that a storm, perhaps the most powerful in recorded history, has struck the Philippines, with winds gusting to 170 mph, a storm surge exceeding 20 feet, and an estimated 10,000 people dead; now that bodies are piling up in such quantities that local officials are digging mass graves [...]; now the world is rushing to send help... Read More »