As noted in the investigation links for Mission 7, higher temperatures, less rainfall, and strong Santa Ana winds are contributing to more frequent and ferocious forest fires in California. Being from Los Angeles County, being prepared for this kind of natural disaster is paramount. In the event of a crisis, I think the Ushahidi platform could be a very important tool for quickly collecting, analyzing, and acting upon different kinds of data, including:
- location, speed, and direction of the fires
- houses destroyed and those in danger of catching fire
- location and number of trapped or injured people
- location of medical care tents
- food and water locations
- displacement camp locations
This data could be submitted by cell phone texts, pictures, videos, or internet (e-mail, social networks sites like Twitter) by people at the disaster location. Ushahidi-LA volunteers can receive these incoming messages on their computers and direct firefighters, police, and other disaster relief workers to pertinent locations. In this way, LA can face natural disasters like forest fires with resilience.