City72 is an open-source emergency preparedness platform to prepare for emergencies and enact rapid response post-disaster within communities.
Benefits & Problems Addressed
Customizable: Any community can access the tool builder, even outside of California. Smaller communities do not have to start from scratch in building useful tools. Locally tailored messages are more effective and useful.
Useful platform for everyday community life as well as emergencies: The CityNow Updates Map shows useful information day-to-day, and switches to become the homepage in an emergency.
Using connectors as arm of public emergency response: The focus on connections turns the community into first responders
Supported by research: City72 is built upon exhaustive social science research that proves the efficacy of values-based messaging.
Tips & Techniques
Background: After Superstorm Sandy in the US Northeast, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management conducted research to understand the importance of community connection and people’s attitudes towards preparedness.
Features: Within the site, there are several sections helpful in communicating the site, its utility & how to use (1) The City72 Mapping system, (2) The Get Connected section, (3) visual supply lists, (4) personal stories and (5) planning templates.
Components: (1) Main website home page, (2) downloadable pdf library, (3) open source code, (4) content editor for customization.
Resources needed: (1) Project/content manager, (2) funds for domain hosting and content contributors (3) technical support staff, (4) photography, (5) Google map manager, (6) Outreach & marketing funds
Hot Buttons: A city or town will need to devote resources and staff to manage the site. While a hub, emergency response will require extensive cross-agency and Department communications.