In December 2017, the Skirball Fire came dangerously close to UCLA. Subsequently, the Woolsey Fire, LA's largest wildfire, started in July 2018 and burned over 96,949 acres of land. The damages to property cost over $1.6 billion. Loss of property due to wildfires not only causes financial losses but also hurts people emotionally. Research says that wildfires in California are set to grow in size and devastation due to changing ecological conditions. Presently, evacuees face challenges like a lack of local contacts and difficulties in locating affordable warehouse space, which prevent them from being able to move their personal effects out to safety.

What it does

Our website allows the residents of LA in evacuation zones to find places to store their belongings for a short period of time at a short notice. Individuals who have vacant space in their homes can register on our website. They can subsequently be found by people looking to rent space.

How we built it

Our website was built by using HTML, CSS, and javascript for the front-end and Firebase for the back-end. We also used the Google Maps API and Google Crisis Map widget to display customized maps. We created the logo for our organization using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and the ProCreate app on the iPad.

Challenges we ran into

In developing our hack, we overcame a variety of challenges. We were completely new to many of the tools that we wanted to use and had limited previous exposure to others. We learned how to use Firebase, Google Maps API and javascript from a scratch. Oftentimes, the product documentation left much to be desired. We also took on the challenge of making our website compatible across platforms. We ran into logistical problems in registering a domain for our website.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud to have created an MVP that can be further refined as a product to help LA disaster victims in their times of need. We came in as beginners and we took on the challenge of leveraging unfamiliar technologies to create a hack in limited time. We are proud to have stepped out of our comfort zones and worked as a team while leveraging our individual capabilities to bring our aim to fruition.

What we learned

We started out as inexperienced beginners and we learned new technologies and skills as we went along. We learned how to work in a team and communicate effectively to complete a technical project in a limited amount of time. We learned from each other's strengths and collaborated to create a product with the best of our skills. We also learned how to set achievable goals while still stepping out of our comfort zone.

What's next for STOREM

We would like to further polish our product and add other functionalities to make the experience more streamlined and intuitive for users. We would also like to develop Android and iOS apps for ease of use on mobile devices. The product also has the potential to expand outside of the Los Angeles area and into other areas of the US and the world, ensuring that everybody has the ability to find a safe space for their belongings in times of need.

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