Imagine a disaster hits your city. It could be flooding. Or fire. Or an attack on the electrical grid. Or tornadoes. Would you be able to protect yourself and your loved ones? To evacuate? To find new shelter and food? What about after the initial event? Would you be able to recover?
The truth is that while these disaster scenarios are terrifying, most people would survive and recover. But for another group of people–our most vulnerable–the story would be different. Because of disability, financial resources, language barriers, and other challenges, these community member’s are heavily and disproportionately impacted. In fact, in disaster after disaster, they are the most likely to die.
Public safety tech startup Geospiza is on a mission is to save lives. They believe all communities, regardless of size and financial resources, should have access to data-driven tools that reduce risk and enhance resilience.
The evidence is clear–our community’s most vulnerable members suffer disproportionately in disaster. In event after event, it is observed that society’s most vulnerable members disproportionately suffer the adverse outcomes of disaster and bear the burdens over a longer period of recovery. This is true whether the disaster is natural, man-made, or technological. Superstorm Sandy in 2012 left many people with mobility limitations stranded on the upper levels of New York City high-rise buildings when either they decided not to evacuate or could not find the support to leave in time. Those who died during Hurricane Katrina were overwhelmingly older adults. In a survey of individuals who did not evacuate New Orleans prior to the storm, 14 percent of respondents had a physical disability, 23 percent stayed behind to help someone with a physical disability, and 25 percent had a chronic illness. And in the latest US tragedy, the Camp Fire, nearly all who perished had a disability or were aged.
The suffering and deaths of our most vulnerable is not because we don’t care, but because city and municipal leadership lack access to actionable data and tools to ensure we deliver the best help to the right people at the right time. Existing tools lack the data integration needed to inform interventions and enhance whole community resilience. Geospiza’s CEO, Sarah Tuneberg, believes it’s time for a change and that their product, Geospiza Swift™️, can make that change.
Geospiza Swift™️ is an intuitive software platform that enables public health workers, emergency managers, and first responders to improve mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities and truly reduce risk and enhance resilience. Geospiza integrates a variety of data sets including proprietary and jurisdiction specific data and use geospatial visualisation to identify the location of those who are especially vulnerable to disaster and why. Their analytics provide robust, evidenced-based decision support and facilitates intervention targeting and tracking to demonstrate effectiveness, ROI, and continuous improvement.
Kansas City and Redmond among others, are using Geospiza to drive evidence-based public safety interventions including home fire prevention, disaster preparedness for communities with limited English proficiency, and climate resilience.
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