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Disaster Recovery Platform Matches Volunteers And Needs

Communities that sign up with Recovers receive a personalized site that allows them to coordinate relief efforts more efficiently. The platform’s latest challenge: Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

Manhattan’s Lower East Side is the latest community to benefit from, a seven-month-old startup that provides a Web- and mobile-based platform for coordinating disaster relief efforts. Communities that pay for a subscription receive a personalized Web site, training, and access to technology that lets them match volunteers and donations to people and places in need. Twenty-one communities will have signed on to the service by next month.

What’s the Big Idea?

Recovers founder Caitria O’Neill came up with the idea after a tornado destroyed her Massachusetts home last year. “There were these two completely uncoordinated things happening on the ground: people showing up who wanted to help and organizations and families that needed help…There was no infrastructure binding the two.” O’Neill stresses that although Recovers is meant to be used as a preparedness tool, unfortunately most communities don’t realize they need it until after disaster has struck. In cases where the call comes after the fact, charges are waived out of good conscience, which doesn’t help in terms of company sustainability. The Lower East Side site was set up just this week and is being coordinated by Occupy NYC and other organizations.

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