When a disaster strikes, a well-coordinated rescue and response can mean the difference between life and death for those affected. InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters) designs and uses open source technologies to help organizations better deliver critical services to vulnerable populations.
InSTEDD's team of public health experts, scientists, and software engineers designs and uses open source technologies that can improve collaboration, information flow, and knowledge sharing, including during disaster response.
With Cisco’s support, InSTEDD developed Watchfire, a rapid recruitment tools that reduces the time it takes to deploy responders to a disaster site.
Watchfire can be used by governments, public agencies, NGOs and community-based networks that rely on volunteers to provide service in times of crisis. Cisco partner, NetHope, has adopted Watchfire to improve crisis relief efforts in the developing world. This consortium of international humanitarian organizations works to improve crisis relief efforts in the developing world through the strategic use of technology.
* Members of American Red Cross's Disaster Action Teams, a local response unit, following evaluation in test scenarios
"Personally I feel (Watchfire) will be one of the best things we can do for our coordinators. Instead of having to pick up the phone and call 20 to 30 volunteers just to get someone out on a call, this will make calls for you."
-- Justin Perry, Disaster Services Lead Co-chair, San Mateo County, American Red Cross