– Helping people help themselves. A text message service for disaster situations

Anne Naukkarinen, Mads Crone Köser, Philip Kongsgaard Døssing (team 1).

Concept website:

Download a documentation package (zip) containing a keynote presentation and two posters of the concept.

A video demonstrating a mobile prototype will be uploaded to the website on Wed 20th May.

In disaster situations it always takes some time before authorities are able to react and send workers to the area. In the meantime, people affected can start to help themselves and people around them. The service will enable communication, coordination and distribution of the skills and knowledge of the local people willing and capable of helping to the place or assignment where it is most beneficial.

The service consists of a toolkit of communication templates tailored for the needs of different catastrophes. These templates can be easily adapted and implemented to local situations and requirements. In a disaster situation this toolkit can be initiated for communication and information sharing by the authorities.

The service is low tech and operates on any mobile device using text messages (SMS). When a disaster hits and is acknowledged by an authority the system is initiated by an SMS being pushed to all cellphones in the area. The service then functions automatically and interactively – if you send a message, you will get a message back. All information is registered to a database that enables governments, international organizations, the general public and relatives to follow the development of the crisis.

Service structure website

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