As the winds die down and the devastating aftermath of Typhon Haiyan in the Philippines begins to dawn on our worldwide-web-connected awareness, the software dev community is responding in ways that are likely to evolve the very nature of disaster relief. For instance, Geeklist #Hack4Good is organizing the tech community to develop apps that will aid emergency response, crisis mapping, and ongoing relief efforts. From their website:
Calling all developers, designers, NGO's and tech thinkers... we are launching a First Responders Geeklist #hack4good to help the people and animals in the way of this horrific Super Typhoon! Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed, made landfall Friday morning in the Philippines and will affect many other regions.
If you have resources already available to help or sites to donate to please include them in the Comments on the 'Brainstorm' card. - Stay tuned for more and please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
You can join the hackathon here.
We saw this kind of generosity here in Boston after the marathon bombings, when app developers rushed to create services like means for family members to find one another, freeing up critical phone lines for emergency responders.
Disasters like this, while heart wrenching for onlookers and utterly devastating for those on the ground, bring out a level of humanity that probably does more good for our global community bonds and future efforts to lessen the impact of destructive events than anything else.
The web has given us close to real-time eyes into others' lives across the world, and I can’t help but think of how it is changing our sense of each other.
There was a time not too long ago when only a small fraction of any given country’s population was aware of or cared about an event that caused suffering for millions on the other side of the planet. For far more of us, that’s no longer the case. We may not have millions to donate, but the resources of creative and caring minds have never been more liberated to help out than now.
Thanks to #hack4good for contributing to the development of disaster relief technologies!
If you know of other “software for humanity” type efforts, we’d love to showcase them on the SmartBear blog. Let us know in the comment section.