Act – Ready – Connect

Climate change has increased the number and the intensity of natural disasters. According with the World Health Organization, every year, natural disasters kill around 90,000 people and affect close to 160 million people worldwide.

To understand deeply this space, we traveled to Puerto Rico and spend one week in the island interviewing locals, authorities, and NGOs.

In September 2017, Puerto Rico faced a devastating natural disaster named Hurricane Maria.
Locals rest inside a shelter before the arrival of the Hurricane Maria in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas – RC1ACAF03580
A woman pulls a trash can past a destroyed home as Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico in Fajardo, on September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas – RC1ACAF03580

 

Natural disasters of this magnitude are chaotic scenarios and responding with the appropriate tools is a real challenge. In the case of Hurricane Maria, access to some areas was specially difficult and government and NGOs  assistant took longer than expected. As a result,  vulnerable communities were significantly affected loosing thousands of lives. We collected data that revealed some of the system’s flaws.

DEMAND VS CAPACITY

In the context of a natural disaster, how to relocate 1 million people?

User Needs

The elderly, people with disabilities, and people with medical devices, needed extra help. In this segments, we found gaps and opportunities to innovate.

  • Policy that encourage people to be prepare
  • Tools to be prepare for natural disasters
  • Services that are cater to senior with medical needs
  • Systems that work on and off line

 

 

Sonia Torres poses in her destroyed home, while taking a break from cleaning, three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island, on October 11, 2017 in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Personas

Judy 76 years old

Librarian that works in San Juan. She was diagnosed with diabetes when she was a teenager and since then, has struggled a lot to stay healthy. 12 years ago, due to high blood sugar levels, obesity, and ulcers, her right leg was amputated. Since then, she uses a wheelchair and moved to a new apartment with elevator.

Antonia  82 years old

Has lived in a nursing home in San Juan for over 10 years. She suffers from glaucoma and kidney problems. Her family is from the town of Naranjito and they were greatly affected by the hurricane so they could not take care of her after the hurricane. Thus, she had to stay on an emergency shelter for 2 weeks before being relocated to a new nursing home.

John 78 years old

Retired high school teacher that relocated from San Sebastian to San Jose after the hurricane. He survived adenocarcinoma lung cancer and lives by himself. He cannot afford an in-home health caregiver, but a couple of neighbors help him with grocery shopping.

Solution

Act – Ready – Connect. We leverage technology and human power to strengthen communities and help them become more resilient to natural disasters.  We train our members, help them get ready, and connect people with a free place to stay in times of need.

In a complex ecosystem, we created a seamless user experience.

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