The Cajun Relief Foundation aims to spearhead a revolution in the evolution of how public and private sector organizations capture, store and analyze the volumes of data generated during catastrophic events like Louisiana’s Great Flood of 2016.
The Cajun Relief Foundation now seeks to harness the power of new digital technology to overcome the constraints that have always limited potential sources for crucial post-disaster data. With each new disaster, it has become increasingly apparent to disaster management scientists that citizens are critical to effective disaster response (Gomez and Turoff, 2007). As the size of a disaster increases, this citizen-led data collection element becomes even more important as the effectiveness of traditional centralized command and control structures begins to break down.
CITIZEN-LED DATA COLLECTION IS:
- MORE AGILE
- MORE PRODUCTIVE
- EASIER TO MOBILIZE
- ELIMINATES NEED FOR GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT
- RELEVANT, TIMELY DATA LEADS TO RAPID, ON-TARGET RELIEF RESPONSE
While Rob Gaudet and The Cajun Navy beautifully demonstrated how the power of smartphone technology can be harnessed to save lives during a disaster, the foundation’s CrowdRelief application will allow communities to execute their own collaborative data collection. This means more people having their basic needs met. It means making shortcomings in government funding statistically visible. It means demonstrating the impact on communities in very real terms long after sensational media coverage has died down but long term recovery aid is still required.