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Crisis Cleanup Mapping Tool Coordinates Rebuilding Efforts

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A bulldozer prepares to shovel debris in a disaster area.

The free Crisis Cleanup mapping tool helps relief organizations coordinate their efforts in disaster areas.

Credit: Shutterstock

Violent weather last summer led Mormon Helping Hands disaster coordinator Aaron Titus to create Crisis Cleanup, a free, open source mapping tool that enables disaster relief organizations to coordinate cleanup and rebuilding efforts after catastrophes.

Titus says the need to dispatch hundreds of volunteers to hundreds of locations called for the creation of a program to coordinate the effort. "I realized, if you try to do it as a single individual, you're never going to be able to," he says.

Titus developed the first version of the program, and it has undergone several modifications since.

The data collected by Crisis Cleanup includes the resident's address and the type of incident, and the information generates icons on a dynamic map alongside the assessment form. Each responding organization can change the status of a work order after responding to it, so the next organization can pick up where the previous organization left off, a feature that helps ensure that groups with specific specialties can handle different relief needs at the same disaster site without overlap.

The Crisis Cleanup process allows for a more seamless and collaborative environment for disaster relief organizations, says developer Andy Gimma. The program has connected more than 30,000 volunteers from 100 organizations with about 8,000 families since the summer of 2012.

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