Inspiration Thousands are affected by wildfires, virus outbreaks, and other disasters and consequently these people need resources to recover physically, financially, and professionally. Many donate to organizations but resources aren't always allocated in places where it is needed most. In August of 2019, The Scientific American reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency wasted more than $3 billion and misused thousands of employees on undersized disasters which could have been taken care of by respective states. Emergency workers during Harvey were largely unavailable and Puerto Rico, hit by Hurricane Maria, got its first recovery six months after it declared bankruptcy. Meanwhile, during storms in Oklahoma, FEMA aided $5.1 million while the state had a $452 budget surplus that year.
What it does ResourceRescue allows those affected by disasters and health outbreaks to report their needs in real-time. When a form is submitted through the ResourceRescue mobile app, the map on the web application populates. Once the ResourceRescue app is used, not only can organizations see where outbreaks are occurring, but also where resources are needed. This will allow non-profits and organizations to allocate resources to places where it is needed most, helping more people faster while simultaneously saving time and funds.
How we built it To create this real-time system, we build a mobile application on Android Studio which allows the user to authenticate themselves using Google sign-in. As the user's name and email automatically populate the preceding form, the user is prompted to enter valuable information like their location and a description of what resources they need or what situation they're in. This information is then directly placed into Google Firebase, which updates the map on ResourceRescue's website in real-time regarding where the user is located. The website also has a log of reports in chronological order. Organizations and non-profits can now see where people need the most help.
Challenges we ran into One of our biggest challenges was using the database information to correctly populate the map on the website.
Accomplishments that we're proud of We are proud of creating an application that has the potential to better thousands of lives and saves funds and resources for non-profits so that they can expand their reach of people they help.
What we learned One key takeaway from making ResourceRescue was how important architecture is to build any application. Although our idea is unique and has the potential to better thousands of loves, one of its key strengths is the use of real-time visualization.
What's next for ResourceRescue In the future, ResourceRescue will populate its database and map with information gathered from other factors that indicate an area is in need of resources like phone calls to 911, disconnected networks, and various important indicators.
In addition, ResourceRescue will indicate which areas have been affected by natural disasters or infectious outbreaks using heatmaps. This will allow organizations and non-profits to better determine where to distribute resources more heavily. And once an area has received adequate resources, that area will appear green on the map.