Disaster Response Distribution

On May 20, 2013, a tornado devastated Moore, Oklahoma. The next day volunteers at Drupalcon Portland reached out to FEMA to find out how we could help. Within 24 hours 100 volunteers contributed to the Drupal for Oklahoma, #Drupal4OK, effort and launched Help4OK.org. The code has become a Drupal project which you can contribute to. Watch a short film about the initiative shot during DrupalCon. The story even made it into television news.

There's a problem

The #Drupal4OK system was amazing, but to replicate it requires a Drupal developer, some hosting and time to download the project and fire it up. Precious time people on the ground in a disaster situation cannot afford. Not everyone in the world can achieve this either.

Laura Scott lives in Boulder. It was recently hit by devastating and lethal floods. I (pdjohnson) lived in Christchurch, New Zealand (ravaged by a massive earthquake). There was no code sprint for either disaster. These events keep happening.

Our vision

What if there was a system prepared in readiness to help people cope with such a disaster? One which had more features than #Drupal4OK, a system which was responsive and possibly accessible on poor mobile speeds due to failure of the infrastructure - we would have something awesome.

Building on the amazing work from the Portland Sprint we could quite quickly achieve this goal. I invite developers, front enders, anyone with any experience of disasters and the appropriate features such a system might require to come debate how we might achieve this system. Laura will hold a similar discussion and possibly a sprint at Badcamp.

Who should attend this BoF?

We are hoping the following people might join us:

  • People with disaster response experience
  • Front end devs
  • Back End devs
  • PR / Marketing / Social Media experts (to help raise awareness)
  • Representatives from charities in this sector

Action Points

Contribute to the BoF during and after DrupalCon Prague here: Google Doc.

I have already spoken to a hosting company who have expressed an interest in providing infrastructure. We just need some bright minds to help specify and complete the system. Are you in?

Photo by Pedro Lozano

Schedule Information
Time slot: 
Tuesday · 17:00-18:00


Would be very interested in any future efforts, please consider adding me to what every communication you decide to set up following the BOF. I'll talk with Laura about BADCamp. Thanks for kicking this off.

Thanks Dustin,

This is of global relevance and I'm keen to involve as many people from wide spread locations, delighted you are interested.

I aim to produce a google doc which I will share so remote contributors can add their ideas. Will also record the BoF so you can hear what was discussed.