Perhaps one of the most covered topics in worldwide news is the destruction caused by natural disasters. In fact, in 2017 alone, over the course of 335 disasters, 96 million people were affected and around 10,000 people died. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if people had access to basic safety information during a disaster. While there exist natural disaster apps that help people with current climate conditions, they are too extensive to read in the event of an emergency. Therefore, our group, DECA, decided to make SafeBet, which can combine safety information about the most common natural disasters into one app, including recovery measures.

What it does

The app is an information haven. From describing the most necessary facts about a current weather situation to informing users how to survive in the event of a disaster, SafeBet ensures people around the world the ability to access basic survival information offline. For our prototype, we are focusing on three major natural disasters: flooding, tornadoes, and winter weather. In the opening page, users are first shown the the natural disaster options. When any of them are clicked, the user will then be sent to another page showing three other options. The first option "Just Information" displays the basic facts of the natural disaster. The second button which is a danger signal for each specific situation directs users to steps on how to follow advisories and warnings. The third button is for "Recovery". This button plans for relief and gives users steps on how to move forward from a disaster. SafeBet is a is a three button system that provides users an easy way to access survival strategies.

How I built it

Through the 36 hours of working, we used Xcode to develop the structure of the app. In addition, we implemented Illustrator to design the images used within the app and our products logo.

Challenges I ran into

We came into this competition without having much coding experienced, much less any experience in app development. The biggest challenges in creating SafeBet were trying to research the background of the project and how to construct it. We also went through so many ideas, so trying to combine all of the ideas into one single program proved difficult as it required strong teamwork skills. Furthermore, we also had computer compatibility issues with the entire team, and one of our group members had a competition during the event. We also were not able to run the app on a iPhone due to "signing issues". However, we do have a video demo.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

As novice programmers, our greatest accomplishment was developing a working app. Our only experience with coding involved an introductory class in Java and Matlab, thus we were ecstatic when we were able develop a working app within a day. In the end, we believe that this hackathon was a success. Even though SafeBet was rather simple, it allowed us to grow exponentially as programmers.

What I learned

First and foremost, we learned how to code using a new software: Xcode. Also, two of our team members learned what a virtual box was and the importance of it in creating products across different platforms. In addition, we learned how to push ourselves past the difficulties of learning something new and challenging in order to create something cool in a relatively short time period. In the end, we had the opportunity to think beyond the possible by attempting to solve real world problems.

What's next for SafeBet

We hope to include a chat option where the user can communicate with both their family and other members in their close community. The goal of this chat is to provide the user with the ability to alert their friends and family about their safety while also learning about the safety status of others around them. With SafeBet, you can bet you will be safe.


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