Most of our team has experienced various natural disasters and we observed an opportunity when it comes to communicating which stores have supplies available. To our knowledge, there is no efficient means of informing the public on locations with readily available supplies and this usually leads to a significant investment of time searching for supplies that could be better spent preparing homes for what is to come. We derived our inspiration from the navigation app Waze which uses user set way-points to inform drivers of police traps, traffic accidents, construction sites, etc. We wanted to develop an app that would function upon the same premise and inform others with user set way-points on which locations have what resources and on those who have run out to be avoided. We feel this could ease the struggles of finding much needed supplies when preparing for natural disasters, decrease panic and overall benefit families by spending less time looking for supplies and instead going directly to where they are available.
What it does
Through the Google Maps API, PrepBuddy provides its users with user shared, real-time updates in regards of supply locations. These locations are updated on a cloud database through Firebase which allows users to receive real-time information on locations with available supplies. After creating an account, the user is re-directed to a simple main menu with pictures of common supplies that often are the first to run out. These resource pictures serve as filter queries to the user driven database that immediately push the relevant information with way-points on the locations that have that resource available. The way-points also contain supply of said resource observed and how fast it is being sold to better judge if it is worth a long drive or not.
How we built it
We built it on WebStorm using angular.js as our main framework, as it allows for multiple devices to access the app with minimal issues. We utilized firebase for user account creation, authentication and information storage on their cloud database.
Challenges we ran into
It was our team's first time working on WebStorm with angular.js, and web app development. We were forced to teach ourselves the technologies and APIs on the go and found it difficult to incorporate all the ideas that we had planned for launch. We are happy with the knowledge that we received and are committed to continuing this project since we all feel that PrepBuddy will do good for others.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We learned something new as a team and it was exciting to adventure into something that we never used before. It gave us more confidence to continue tackling problems even if the methods to solve them are unknown to us.
What's next for PrepBuddy
We plan on improving the functionality of the web app to support enhanced user driven information. We want to make it as easy as possible, like Waze, to set way-points down and streamline the process so that it will be used frequently during natural disaster preparation. Most importantly is that we will continue to pursue maturing PrepBuddy into a web app that will be easy to use and provide a much needed channel of communication during a time of crisis.