Today we're deploying our rapid response software, Pairs, and other digital assets to support our friends responding to Hurricane Harvey in two Texas communities. These are tools we used and created in 2013 during our own response to the Moore/South OKC Tornado that we are committed to share with neighbors who are working to recover from disasters of their own.
Donate to our disaster response efforts to deploy digital response and send leaders to assist in recovery.
The Full Story
As we posted a few days ago, we're in touch with our friends on the ground in and around Houston responding to Hurricane Harvey. Our friends on the ground include our hometown Deputy Emergency Manager Debi Wagner as part of an Oklahoma Incident Management Team sent to support work in Rockport, TX as well as Disaster Relief At Work (DRAW) setting up operations in Sugarland, TX. DRAW and their Director Greg Martin spent time with us in 2013 and again in 2015 responding to Oklahoma tornadoes.
To the communities of Rockport and Fulton, we've sent our Volunteer Reception Center plans and forms. These will help the City and Chamber mobilize people to start cleanup with their neighbors. The goal of volunteers in any disaster response is to help people clean up and begin recovery but disaster zones are dangerous places. These digital files will help leaders form solid plans for mobilization and keep volunteers and neighbors safe as they work together.
The Magic of Software
To the community of Sugarland and for our friends at DRAW, we're deploying Pairs, our rapid response software for connecting people who need help with those looking to give help. In 2013, an Oklahoma City company called Rehash was working with us to respond to devastating tornadoes. As we tracked names and addresses in a Google Sheet and matched them with signatures on paper releases, they couldn't shake the idea of "this could be faster, better, and more secure." And so Pairs was born.
This web app, designed to run on tablets out in the field, allowed volunteers to scout neighborhoods for needs faster than ever. When they found someone who needed volunteer help, they entered all the neighbor's contact info and get a short description of the task. Then, right there the neighbor would sign to give volunteers permission to work on their home. The new work order was immediately sent to our headquarters and a team would be dispatched to meet the need — sometimes in as little as 30 minutes!
So how does all this help Texas?
The guys at Rehash are at it again and together, we're standing up a fresh version of Pairs for use in Texas Flood Recovery. This cloud-based database will allow volunteers to use tablets or smartphones to gather information about the needs of neighbors in the areas to which they're responding. It means faster, better, safer volunteer mobilization — no waiting for papers to come back, accurate tracking of projects and hours, no losing signatures in the chaos, solid followup with people they've helped already,
We're grateful to get to deploy these tools to other communities as they grapple with disasters. And we're committed to sharing our experience as a grassroots disaster response nonprofit. So our leaders plan to be on calls supporting this software deployment and are beginning plans to travel to Texas to support volunteer mobilization on the ground.
Help us cover the costs of standing up this new Texas version of our software and maintaining the cloud-based database for these organizations. You'll also be giving to our efforts to send Serve More leaders and volunteers to assist in Harvey Recovery.
For questions, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate by check, make it payable to Serve More and send it to 224 S Chestnut Ave, Moore OK 73160