Birthing a Disaster Response Organization: Responding to Hurricane Harvey



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Irene – Minneapolis: Birthing a Disaster Response Organization



Something extraordinary happened. Five friends who had met over Twitter saw a need: flood victims stranded in Houston, not able to reach 911, but tweeting out SOS calls over social media… praying SOMEONE would find their notes.

Those friends starting combing Twitter for those notes and capturing them into a spreadsheet, with the intention of passing them to – well – someone.

I was one of them – those first, five friends.

Over the course of one week, we grew from 5 people, to 10, to 100, and then 700. We slowly gathered more friends — spreadsheet experts, graphic designers, GIS mappers, translators, medical professionals, animal lovers, and a media team.

Throughout the 2017 hurricane season, we provided key support to first responders and emergency management personnel within governmental organizations such as FEMA and the Coast Guard and collaborated extensively with grassroots organizations and tech companies.

In October 2017, we co-hosted FEMA’s Disaster Crowdsourcing Exchange, collaborating with non-governmental organizations such as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, GISCorps, NAPSG Foundation, and Standby Task Force to further the impact of crowdsourcing in emergency response.

I still don’t really understand how it all went down.


Irene Succio


Birthing a Disaster Response Organization: Responding to Hurricane Harvey


personal narratives


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start=2017-08-27; end=2017-10-31; scheme=ISO 8601;