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Watchfire was developed with InSTEDD for assisting the American Red Cross in improving their community level disaster response in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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After working together with the Red Cross in identifying potential uses of technology to assist them in their work, we noted that their current workflow for recruiting volunteers upon a disaster of any scale could be greatly improved by automating the process, as it could take more than two hours for a coordinator to manually assemble the Disaster Action Team.

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Each organization can define its own channels for contacting its volunteers. This allows any organization to use Watchfire, configure its own VoIP lines or SMS gateways, and start using the tool right away. Also, as with all platform tools developed with InSTEDD, Watchfire is open source.

You can also read about Watchfire and its development at InSTEDD’s website , or at Nicolás Di Tada’s blog where he describes the inception and development process.

Learn more about Watchfire 3:19

Event (recruiting started)

Overview of current state of event, it includes a listing of confirmed and pending volunteers.

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Volunteer profile

Contact information, location and availability.

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Volunteer listing import

Smart system with conflict resolution for continuing imports.

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Watchfire is developed using Ruby on Rails 3.2, using Google Maps for event placement and knockout.js for client-side bindings. Voice calls are executed by using Verboice, and text messages delivered via Nuntium, whereas organization channels are configured using Pigeon; these three tools developed in-house as part of InSTEDD’s open-source platform.

Open source

This project is Open Source, we invite you to collaborate and join us in the development of a better world through the use of technology.


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