As climate change becomes a severe issue, more people are at risk of floods. 2.3 billion people worldwide were affected by flooding disasters in the last 20 years, and hundreds of people are killed by floods every year. These facts are shocking, and the main reason why numbers are so high is that many people are not prepared or equipped when hit by one of these natural disasters. Not being prepared can cost your life. We need to solve this problem today to minimize the devastation caused by floods. That is why we made WaterTrackers, a website that tells you everything you need to know in case of a flood, and how at risk you are of encountering one.

What it does

WaterTrackers tells you everything you need to know in case of a flood, and how at risk you are of encountering one. Using the map, you can find your location and see how many floods occur in your area, and whether you're in danger. This data was taken from a CSV file which was prepared via a python script. You can also use it to make informed decisions about where you want to live and build communities. On our site, you can get detailed checklists to ensure you don’t forget small details. You will also find steps to take before, during and after a flood. We have useful tips to help prepare and guide you through what to do if you encounter a flood. If you are interested in learning more about floods, there will be additional links to other helpful resources.

How we built it

We brainstormed ideas and chose WaterTrackers because we felt it would be most useful and could save lives. Then we discussed our skill set and used trello to split the tasks, and github to share files. Some of us did research, some worked on the website, while others planned the video. We took the map data from a CSV file which was prepared via a python script. We used bootstrap studio to create the UI and UX of the website, and exported the HTML and CSS code. We then used the Google Maps API to embed the map with various flood locations in our website. As for the information (checklist and additional resources), we researched a lot of information related to floods. Throughout the way, we helped each other out.

Challenges we ran into

We struggled to find a dataset with information on floods. When we found one, we had to convert the zip codes to latitude and longitude to add it to the map. The dataset was vast and, to turn the whole dataset using python would take 3 hours. Given the hackathon's time constraint, we truncated it and kept the data from 2005 to 2019. Another Challenge we faced were the time zone differences. Our time zones are very different (12 hours apart!) and we had a bit of difficulty organising our work. Some of us even stayed up late and compromised our sleep for this Hackathon. Some other challenges we faced include deciding which template to use in Bootstrap Studio, pulling the API into our website, and finding ways to host the website for free. The data also took 1 hour and 30 minutes to obtain from the python script, which means we needed to wait for it until 1am.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We worked well together and made a functional website within 24 hours while learning from each other. All the teammates participated and communicated on the discord chat.

What we learned

We learned a lot about floods, its effects, how to prevent it, and how deadly they are. We learnt and explored with tools such as Bootstrap Studio, Hostinger, Google Map API and so much more! Since we had a full-stack web developer in our team, we were very fortunate to be able to learn so much about HTML, CSS and JavaScript from him!

What's next for WaterTracker

We plan to share our website with cities and states and expand it to include other countries to help governments better plan where to build. It doesn't make sense to develop and invest in areas that are prone to flooding.

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