Bushfire Connect is a modern form of crisis service that presents real time information from emergency agencies and community members to the general public. The goal of this company is to provide information to people in a reliable and timely manner in case of fire, natural hazards and other emergency situations.
Bushfire Connect closely follows the structure of Ushahidi platform, a well-known geo-spatial communication system that was utilized during disasters in Chile, Haiti and Pakistan. In Australia, this system is implemented and promoted by a small team of volunteers for the bushfire season. The project was kick-started with the help of two notable personalities namely Maurits van der Llugt, a spatial information strategist and Keren Flavell, an online media producer. Once it went viral and gained popularity for Random Hacks of Kindness, technical experts like Anthony Joseph and Daniela Fernandez continued the work. The team later added Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein, a Drumbeat Australia organizer and ICT strategist as advisor. The first installation of the project took place in the Random Hacks of Kindness event in Sydney. Since then, the project has included a wide range of features such as registering in order to receive alerts, submitting alter reports by SMS as well as information of specific geographic location of the disaster.
Potential partnership programs are on the cards with emergency agencies and media organizations according to the latest report of Bushfire Connect. The company has been receiving funds for future developments from various corners of the world as well. The service is also ready for pilot testing in the community. Currently, professionals are working on refining the user experience by various techniques. They have been conducting load testing of the servers due to high demand from the community. Recruitment and training to add more volunteers are some of the activities that are ongoing at the current official location.
BUSHFIRE CONNECT is no longer in operation