instedd.org/watchfire/

Watchfire — Emergency Response Team Assembly Tool

Watchfire is a simple and yet powerful system that initiates and tracks the process of
building a volunteer response team with people who are geographically close
to each other through phone calls and text message.

In October of 2010, Cisco awarded a seed grant to InSTEDD for the development of technology designed to improve the resilience of community-level disaster response. This grant was for the development of a program to support shared safety, self reliance and situational awareness during a public crisis in the Bay Area.

In 2011, InSTEDD designed, developed, and pilot tested a tool, called Watchfire, to help the American Red Cross(ARC) improve their community level disaster response in the San Francisco Bay Area. Working closely with the ARC on a needs assessment, we learned that their highest priority was improving the speed and coordination of ARC’s Disaster Action Teams (DATs). Using an agile development process that involved the ARC in the cycle of building better and better technical solutions, we developed Watchfire, a simple and yet powerful system that initiates and tracks the process of building a volunteer response team with people who are geographically close to each other through phone calls and text messages.

For a more detailed look into the process, please read the blog post “Live recruiting of volunteers through phone calls and text messages”.