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Ready and Resilient

Ready and Resilient provides smartphone app to vulnerable institutions for pandemic / emergency preparedness and response

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The team was shocked to see how many institutions looking after vulnerable populations of older or younger people were severely impacted by Covid-19.  After 9/11 and major events since, funding was made available through the US Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health, Housing, FEMA, and other organizations in the US to invest in an All-Hazards planning initiative. Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans were written, essential infrastructure identified, and programs set up so that the public and private sector could plan ahead of time to be more resilient, and adapt to rapidly changing emergency conditions effectively. Much of this planning, exercising, preparing seems to have gone out of the window for Covid-19. As a concrete example, school closure plans for a 90-day closure were not followed; enhanced green cleaning programs were not implemented; Points of Distribution plans for PPE for vulnerable populations (including the homeless), caregivers, and second line responders were not followed. When decision-makers were reminded of the plans, some found them, and were able to deploy them.

It is likely that all this work, much of which was completed between 2002 and 2012, was kept in bookshelves and on servers. At the time smartphones were not ubiquitous, and cloud storage was barely available. In today's world, there are few shelves for old paper, and who is likely to go through someone else's folders on a server?

Actionable knowledge has not changed very much. Pulled together by a multi-disciplinary team with a deep hands-on understanding of all sides of the problem, and especially the limitations that crisis mode places on decision making (because of fear, tension, and more), this knowledge can be deployed in a new way, pivoting onto smartphone technology. It can be made accessible to any education level, in most languages, and made relevant for any type of institution.

Our proposal captures the desire to be better prepared for every environmental, social, economic, inimical or other event we may find ourselves enduring. We seek to adapt, be collaborative and resilient, and not face fragmentation within our society caused by lack of knowledge, limited access to resources, and fear.

What is the need are you focusing on?

Covid-19 illustrated how unprepared many institutions were to respond to recover from a pandemic / emergency. Post 9/11 preparedness initiatives showed that significant benefits accrued to institutions who undertook all-hazard risk assessments, mission-appropriate preparedness and management planning and training.

Initial focus is on Senior Residences, Nursing Homes, Adult Day Care and Child Care Centers.

Every event that becomes a crisis - pandemic, terrorism, black-out, climate disasters – reflects a severe lack of preparedness that places the vulnerable populations and their caretakers at unnecessary risk.

Each organization can benefit from actionable measures that guide them through the emergency management cycle (Planning/Mitigation, Protection, Preparedness, Response, Recovery) in a practical, easy to understand way, and that adhere to all-hazard industry standards and established best practices. 

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

An app for Android/iOS suited to target institutions, supported through tailored consulting services as required. The app works in two modes: admin and user. In admin mode a person responsible for Emergency Management is guided through a set of questions about the facility. These include: type of facility, its use, employee roles, in-house kitchen vs meal delivery. Based on the answers the app builds an Emergency Management plan tailored to the facility. Employees can then login given their roles (e.g. login as cleaner, cook, supervisor) to be presented with guidance how the specific emergency pivot affects their duties. This includes modification to how they should perform their usual tasks (e.g. different way of cleaning), additional tasks they need to perform (e.g. sanitize deliveries as they arrive at the facility), how to act in case of an acute emergency (e.g. evacuation procedures), as well as a communication directory (who to contact about what and how to reach them).

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

The proposing team implemented a similar process that streamlined and made responses to most types of emergency routine by implementing inclusive All Hazards Planning (AHP), adapted in 2009 for an Influenza Health and Safety Plan which significantly reduced viral transmission. AHP revealed vulnerabilities easily addressed before a crisis. With smartphones we can pivot so vulnerable institutions anywhere are ready for most emergencies. Disseminating the expertise broadly lets them move into response mode (not crisis mode) and implement protective measures that are fine-tuned for emerging validated information and guidelines. Benefit: safer facility environment for vulnerable populations and caregivers. Each event has different variables & inherent crisis dynamics, many that cannot be anticipated, but the AHP trains workers to breathe, act and manage key factors within an enhanced routine, leaving time to prepare for and manage the truly new, unpredicted elements of the emergency.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Ready and Resilient Enterprise is a pivot initiative bringing together a coalition including Nermin Ahmad, Resiliency Planner and Gerhard Bayer, Technology Strategist, co-founders of CSRspace, LLC; Dr. Richard L. Glover, DBA, Executive Director, NYPD and Dr. Amy Mahl, Pathobiologist, owner of Dovetail Results Consulting.

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

RARE is created for this pivot. Our multi-disciplinary team was forged after 9/11 and we have collaborated on numerous emergency management initiatives in NYC, NY State, around the US, and elsewhere, developed effective tools prior to ubiquitous smartphones. Now we believe we can deploy our knowledge via a smartphone app where it is most needed, for people of different backgrounds and education levels, to keep vulnerable populations from suffering the similar anguish of uncertainty again. Rare is created for this effort, as led by CSRspace.

What is your profession?

We are the multi-disciplinary (emergency planners, security, psychology, entrepreneur, technology, pathobiologist) team needed for all hazard planning

Where are you located (country)?

United State of America

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Business/Consulting
  • Resilience building and recovery consulting

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 2-5 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Business

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Investment
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Government

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

We seek support with funding so that this app can be rolled out in different languages to target institutions around the world. We also need support with funding so that greater functionality can be built into the app for more complex institutions who already have emergency plans that may need to be made more generally available, or updatable.

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

When we rolled out a similar program pre-smartphone, the barrier was access to information during a blackout, if the internet were suspended, or information became inaccessible. Today the main barrier would be for people who do not yet have tablets or smartphones - this may need to be combined with a program making these items available, and with creating a version that can be accessed on flip phones.

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

We pivoted in 2001 from All-Hazards planning under Superfund, to preparedness planning post 9/11, adapting en route to the 2004 blackout, and then building further resilience through the Influenza Health and Safety Plan for NYC in 2009 and the 90-day school closure/child feeding program of the same year. The same minds, tools, and concepts pivoted again in NY State post Sandy to Build Back Better, and similarly in Galveston and Houston post natural disasters. What we have learned is that if the right level of knowledge is made available to help individuals plan in advance for their roles and responsibilities during a crisis, the fear and paralysis associated with the crisis is reduced dramatically. Lives are protected, even saved. Economic savings are huge. Emotional health is preserved. All-Hazard planning allows each person to internalize appropriate worst case actions, act effectively, and adapt quickly to emerging information.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

No, and No.

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