RIMPAC-QuickNet’s Crisismapping Exercise

The beautiful island of Oahu was the headquarters for a six day 24 hour international virtual Crisismapping exercise from May 15 through May 20.  Spontaneous and Emergency Management Volunteers from thirteen countries participated in the world’s largest crowdsourced crisismapping simulation exercise last week  in a collaboration spearheaded by Quick-Nets and orchestrated by Humanity Road.  Over 2,000 incidents were submitted, processed and microtasked through the platform.catstan2

Humanity Road and the Quick-Nets team reached out to collaborate with NOAA, University of Hawaii’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, Wellington City Council Emergency Management Office, University of Hawaii, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Department of Defense, members of Pacific Area Command Center, as well as the Pacific Disaster Training Center and explored the dynamics of crisismapping and crowdsourcing information in an emergent disaster.

Ed Young, NOAA National Weather Service Pacific Region Deputy Director, remarked that  “We were happy to assist in facilitating as a local host, and we were very impressed with execution of the exercise and the capabilities that Quick Nets offers. We look forward to learning more about its potential application that will help us collect more natural hazards incident reports in real time.”

Dave Leng, Humanity Road Event Lead and Director of HEAL from Apia Samoa orchestrated the deployment of the online teams in concert with Humanity Road Exercise Lead Justine Mackinnon, JusTech.  “I was impressed with the commitment of the volunteers involved in this worthwhile exercise. This is the start of a great journey to introduce Quick-Nets and demonstrate the proven capabilities to key personnel.” said Justine. Justine was instrumental in developing the incident submission team content (dubbed our SimCell team)  based on scenario objectives.

Eliana Zemmer handled staffing and credentialing. Avi Sharma from Nagpur India as well as Melissa Elliott from Toronto, Canada provided key roles in microtasking and brokering respectively.   Other Volunteers provided credentialing, as well as training for microtasking roles in filtering, categorization and geolocation.  “The over-arching concept behind the expedited micro tasking processes within the Ushahidi-based QuickNets platform is very exciting, as is the Brokering side of the equation (which allows aid organizations the ability to ‘broker’ reports relevant to their offering). You can easily see the end-to-end solution that it can provide.” Said Mellissa Elliott.

Also taking part was the VOST Team spearheaded by Caroline Milligan from New Zealand comprised of members from the Wellington City Council Emergency Management office.  VOST is a Virtual Operations Support Team. “NZ VOST (Virtual Operations Support Team) was honored to be involved in a very valuable experience.  We look forward to continuing to improve our digital support effectiveness, through similar disaster simulation exercises in the future. “  Caroline Milligan (NZ VOST Team Leader).

ChiantimapThe exercise finished on Saturday May 20 at the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter Digital Operations Center.  Humanity Road also held two workshops during the week on Social Media and Crowdsourcing and Crisismapping.

At six days long with over 2,000 incidents published to the map, It’s only fitting that the Quick-Nets Crisismapping event for RIMPAC was one of the world’s largest crisismapping exercise. That’s because this event prepared the crisimap which will be utilized for the world’s largest international maritime exercise RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.   Over 20 nations will come together in July for this biennial event marking the first Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Response (HA/DR) event within RIMPAC.  This exercise will aid maritime forces to simulate and practice response and coordination efforts in the wake of a large-scale disaster on a fictitious island nation that coincidentally looks like Oahu, Hawaii.

Volunteers united to produce a crowdsourced crisis map which will help ground forces stage and practice HA/DR response techniques.  This event gave Humanity Road the opportunity to explore spontaneous collaborations.  Establishing common operational datasets for transportability of key disaster information is important to speed up recovery and mitigate loss.  This exercise will help improve processes for sharing data among the many response organizations.  Through this event with the U.S Navy Quicknets team we help support and educate the public, private and governmental sector on social media emergency management techniques. Crisismapping is just one slice of the picture and a way many can share situational awareness of an emerging event.

We couldn’t have done this without the support of the many volunteers from the global emergency management community, as well as the local hosts and participants in Honolulu Hawaii.  Mahalo Hawaii State Chapter American Red Cross, NOAA Regional Center, University of Hawaii as well as a very special thank you to everyone who helped put this together and carry it to its success!  

Most importantly, we want to thank the eighty three volunteers who stepped up to make this event happen.  Certificates of participation will be distributed to each of the volunteers who took part in this exercise.

Humanity Road and Quick-Nets will also be participating in the upcoming Pacific Endeavor workshop and session in Cambodia in June.  The map created in June will be used in the Pacific Endeavor Tabletop exercise in August in Singapore.  Avi Sharma, Team Lead for the Geolocation and Microtasking volunteers summed up our commitment with this statement from Mahatma Gandhi  “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching”.

QuickNets is Ushahidi platform with plugins and is designed to link to, or augment, existing communications systems in a crisis to rapidly pulse both affected populations and responding groups for critical information analyze the collected data, map and visualize validated data, and disseminate usable situational awareness information to planners. While QuickNets is a DOD project, it will focus on both improving the situational awareness of the tactical commander on the ground, as well as his partners in the NGOs and host governments.

For more information and to see the map visit www.quick-nets.org

Thank You Volunteers!



Event:Boston Marathon Bombing

Event Name: Boston Explosion

Volunteers reporting in: Christoph, Aline, Cindy, Chris, Dave, Cat, Robin, Todd, Janelle, Alice, John, Katelyn, Magi

What HappenedFriday Apr 19 UpdatePolice pursuit in progress in and around Boston area including Watertown.  Public advised to stay indoors during the activity.  Mass transit suspended during the event.Initial Event: Tuesday April 16Multiple explosions were reported in Boston during the Boston Marathon.  Two dead in bomb blasts near finish line of Boston Marathon and over 70 people reportedly injured. Explosions happened at 2:50 p.m. EST. Third blast later reported at JFK Library about 5 miles away, police say. Not clear whether that blast is connected to first two. (Source)
National & Regional LinksRight click to open these links in a new windowBoston@NotifyBoston
@MassEMA@BEMSRA @Boston_Police @BOSTON_EMS @BostonFire





City of Boston


Boston Marathon


Boston Police Department Facebook page











Emergency NumbersKnow Who to Call For Help211 to find local services, food, water, ice, shelter511 to find road conditions911 in an emergency and only an in an emergencyReport Power Outages to your power company not 911617-635-4500 Boston mayor’s hotline (can help locate friends/family)Emotional Distress Support

@Distressline is a program of @samhsagov, our hotline (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746) operate 24/7 for those in distress related to disasters in the U.S. 1-800-985-5990 · http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov

Emergency Alert Sign Up

Boston http://ow.ly/ke0wG

Watertown http://bit.ly/17w0Mpi

Brookline http://bit.ly/13vu2Qq

CommunicationsInitial Event: Tuesday April 16Radio Feed –http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/6254/web@cnnbrk: Cell phone service shut down in downtown #Boston to prevent detonation of devices, WBZ reports. http://on.cnn.com/139ikHp
HashtagsFriday Apr 19 Update#WatertownInitial Event: Tuesday April 16#boston #tweetfromthebeat  #bostonmarathonexplosions #prayforboston #bostonmarathon #jfklibrary
Maps & Situational awarenessInitial Event: Tuesday April 16@CherylFiandaca  Bureau Chief, Public Information – Boston Police Dept.Marathon information –  http://www.baa.orgBoston GWOB Data Add – collaborationNY Times interactive Map
SurviveIf any of you are near Boston and want to donate blood, there’s a list of places you can do it here: http://www.redcrossblood.org/ma
Find HospitalsVia Facebook
Brigham & Women’s Hospital on lockdown; only patients & staff allowed in http://tinyurl.com/cc7uahn #hmrd #boston
Arbour Hospital  Boston Medical CenterBoston University Medical SchoolBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBrigham and Women’sCambridge Health AllianceChelsea Soldiers’ Home

Children’s Hospital

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Faulkner Hospital

Franciscan Children’s Hospital

Jewish Memorial Hospital

Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary

Mass General Hospital

Massachusetts Mental Health Center

MIT Medical

Mount Auburn Hospital

New England Baptist Hospital

Tufts-New England Medical Center

Shriners Hospital-Children

Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

St. John of God Hospital

Steward Health Care System

Stillman Infirmary

U.S. Veterans Hospital

U.S. Veterans Outpatient Clinic

Kindred Healthcare, Inc.


 Find ShelterMobile AppsFind Red Cross ShelterA runner’s shelter has been opened at 1187 Beacon. Runners can get phone access and medical help.
Find Food
Find Red Cross@RedCrossEastMANotify your family and friends that you are OK and register yourself on the Red Cross Safe & Well List. You can also search for loved ones who have registeredhttps://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.phpAmerican Red Cross Statement on Boston Marathon Explosions: rdcrss.org/12gLrcH
Transportation, Infrastructure and Road Conditions:Friday April 19Expect delays in travel in and around Boston due to this event.
Apr 19 11:00am Amtrak Downeaster is currently operating a modified schedule with no service to Boston. source: @amtrakInitial Event: Tuesday April 16Expect delays in travel in and around Boston due to this event.Apr 15 5:20pm CNN reporting flights on hold or delayed between Boston & DC@MBTA@BostonLogan



Animals in Disaster