Project React Flood Mapping Project: A Resilient Flood Sensing System for Equitable Disaster Response
Climate-related disasters leave low-income communities in recovery-mode for years, waiting for the trickle of aid from governments and nonprofits, which ends up being bureaucratic and poorly targeted. While resources flow into these organizations at the peak of disasters, little energy is allotted for technological innovation prior to the next emergency. However, climate impacts are increasing; the time to act is now. With smart cities on the rise, we’ve envisioned a system of water-detection sensors to capture water levels in flood-prone neighborhoods, with data publicly available to communities, government, and relief organizations. The sensors attach to existing infrastructure, like light posts, and the data feeds interfaces for key stakeholders to create a smart, connected city. This enables smarter flood prevention decisions and creates a public record holding the government accountable for effective mitigation. We aim to pilot with a partner municipality in order to demonstrate real-world functionality of our system and then scale our impact. We believe this technology paves the way for tackling the climate crisis with equitable solutions that ensure marginalized communities, often the most vulnerable to natural disasters, are included in our climate future.