According to the Insurance Crime Bureau, 230,000 cars were damaged by Hurricane Sandy; 150,000 in New York, mostly from ocean sand and seawater surge flooding.

This is a known issue. Insurance Auto Auctions, which handled 40% of the wrecks that went to the salvage auction market dispatched 400 tow trucks and leased huge holding facilities even before Sandy hit. Further damage done by unwitting buyers purchasing illegally disguised flood cars in the second hand market.

The city cannot just provide an evacuation plan for Red Hook's people, it also needs one for their vehicles.

Solving this issue was proposed by PortSide NewYork during the Red Hook Hackathon at Pioneer Works, June 2016. PortSide NewYork is a White House Award-winning, waterfront-oriented non-profit that was very involved in hurricane Sandy recovery work and is now involved in resiliency planning. Their President Carolina Salguero spoke at the hackathon, and our team was inspired to create this app.

What it does

High Ground NYC is a resiliency program for minimizing water damage to automobiles in flood-prone urban areas. It consists of:

1) Specially designated emergency flood parking on high ground relatively close to surge areas. 2) a notification system for when flood parking is in effect- via SMS & physical LED indicators 3) Real-time sensing of flood parking availability on a per-spot, hype-load basis 3) An application that guides users to the closest available parking spot in the most efficient way. 5) an AI "traffic cop in the cloud" that intelligently manages the distribution of parking spots in real time.

How I built it

An API build on manages data between a Firebase instance, an Ember application, and webservices by Twilio, PitneyBowes, and GE Predix. The Ember application is also hosted by Firebase. The notification sign housing was designed with SolidWorks then 3D printing and laser cutting were used to manufacture it. An Arduino Uno was used to drive an LED panel and an Adafruit feather provides the SMS support for turning it on and off.

What's next for HighGround.NYC is meant to start a meaningful conversation with the government of NYC. While "flood-specific" parking spaces were theorized during the demonstration, actual emergency flood parking spaces need to be designated and sensored up for monitoring.

Much more thought and design could be put into the intelligence driving the system that brings individuals to the parking spots as quickly and safely as possible.

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