With the increasing severity and frequency of natural disasters all over the world, we realized how unprepared most of us are when faced with a drastic emergency. ​


We created Safe Prep as a mobile app allowing users to proactive prepare for natural disasters in their area, have easy access to important local department info, traffic & evac routes and also keep up to date on latest events nearby. ​

Project Challenge

Many people do not expect natural disasters to happen to them, leading to a large number of the public being unprepared once emergencies happen. In addition to providing simple preparation tips to enable quick responses in the face of a disaster, we also wanted to incorporate an emergency section that presents local resources contact information as well as evacuation routes and shelters nearby. ​

What It Does

Based on the user’s location, the app will present preparation information for relevant natural disasters they may face. Provides quick access to contact information of local resources (fire dept, hospitals, shelters, etc.). View of local traffic and recommended evac routes ​

What We Used

For design, we brainstormed in FigJam and used Figma for lo-fi wireframes, creating the design system, hi-fi screens and prototyping. For front-end code the language used is Kotlin. Also used Android Studio and some plugins. For the backend of the code, we used TomTom's map api to track traffic and creating a search engine. The routing uses a tree algorithm that accounts for shortest distance and traffic. ​

Challenges We Ran Into

The biggest challenge we faced in this project was technical constraints around building the original app form of the idea. The team ran into technical blockers when trying to merge the front and backend so for the functional deliverable instead of creating the app version of the concept we created a functioning website version. For some of us, this was our first hackathon and there were gaps in knowledge about everyone’s roles and tasks. With the accelerated timeline and different timezones across the team, this was the quickest project turnaround some of us faced in designing and validating usability. ​

Our Wins

Both designers have not had any experience working with developers, so we were able to learn a lot and fill our knowledge gaps. ​ Working across different timezones is difficult, but we did our best to communicate as much as possible. ​

Project Takeaways

Once we were able to have our kickoff session the day after opening ceremonies, it was difficult to understand each individual’s timeline for their tasks until we got started. Having an easy way to communicate quickly through Slack and Google Meet sessions helped us stay on track with the quick project turnaround. ​

What's Next

Rachel: I'd want to spend more time on evaluating what other effective features could be implemented easily, in addition to spending more time on the UI. Danielle: If we had more time I'd like to do thorough user testing to test our concept and see if there are any improvements that could be made. The map can be improved by implementing GPS traction and geofencing, allowing the program to detect where the user is and provide live events in their area.

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