Two sisters, Morgan O’Neill and Caitria O’Neill took a tornado ripping through their hometown of Monson Massachusetts in June of 2011 as a signal for a call to action. The sisters began working on a startup called recovers.org that makes disaster response smarter by providing easy to use software that empowers communities to prepare together, mitigate risk and locally match resources.
They aren’t the only members of the recovers.org team that have come face to face with natural disasters. The startup’s CTO Alvin Liang grew up in Norman Oklahoma which is close to Moore where the tornado touched down on Monday.
The company, which can put together a city.recovers.org site, when disaster strikes in less than two hours, went through the MassChallenge program last fall and graduated with a $50,000 “gold” win just a week before recovers.org got a huge chance for real life case study in Hurricane Sandy.
Now the Boston Herald reports that Morgan O’Neill along with Liang and Chief Operating Officer Chris Kuryak are headed out to Oklahoma where they will spend several days teaching residents how to operate their relief website.
“Our mission is to facilitate local recovery,” O’Neill, told the Herald. “We can give them tools and institutional knowledge we have and they use their expertise in their own community to put themselves back together.”
Recovers.org has already seen 1500 volunteers sign up through their Moore Oklahoma recovers.org website. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy the startup saw 30,000 volunteers sign up using their platform. Hurricane Sandy spawned several recovers.org sites including; lowereastside.recovers.org, redhook.recovers.org, and astoria.recovers.org.
Everyone is accustomed to the Red Cross springing into life when disaster strikes. Typically, within hours, others try to launch informational sites, volunteer sites and fundraising campaigns. With recovers.org already in place it allows people in disaster affected areas to concentrate their efforts on recovery knowing that the infrastructure is already in place through recovers.org.
While no one wants to find themselves the victim of a natural disaster, the fact that the team has been through disasters of their own gives them “street knowledge” or the benefit of actually going through a disaster, and experiencing not only the recovery but the emotion as well.
You can find out more at recovers.org
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Paul Graham turned to Watsi, and then joined their board.
photo: Boston Business Journal