The new disaster preparedness handbook now functions like an interactive app, allowing staff to update and add information easily. Additionally, we created a directory of local contact information that can be edited by a wider community, which allows the American Institute of Architects to crowd-source the updating of its disaster relief rolodex.
To make the handbook easy to access we put it on a USB drive that relief workers can carry on their key chain. Whenever they have access to a computer - whether there is an internet connection or not - they can plug it in and access the handbook. We did not want this tool to become stagnant either, so we built it so that whenever the USB drive is plugged into a computer, it searches for an internet connection. Every time it finds one, it syncs up with the latest version of the handbook available online, uploads any updates that were made locally since the last sync, and downloads this new fully updated version of the site to the USB drive. This gives disaster relief workers the powerful combination of a resource that is both current and highly accessible during emergencies, no matter what the conditions are on the ground.