When a storm affects your area, the first thing you want to know is where to go and what to avoid.
AfterStorm allows you to do just that by identifying flooded areas, businesses that are open near you and giving you access to other important emergency relief information.
Using natural language processing and machine learning, we designed an application that provides citizens with the information they most want and need during weather disasters. By connecting people to important safety information and government services, AfterStorm looks to ease some of the anxiety created by these emergencies.
After speaking to residents and hearing their concerns, we knew we wanted to make something that would make their lives before, during, and after a flood much easier. Thus, we designed Iris, a chatbot that serves as the ultimate customer service assistant during a weather emergency that helps users easily connect to information and government services.
Iris is powered by Facebook's Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technologies. It is designed to evolve over time and connect to more services such as the SeaLevelRise App and databases as the situation changes. Iris is accessible through Facebook or directly through the Afterstorm App.
AfterStorm is a messaging app that makes it easier to contact essential services in a time of emergency. It uses the same interface as other well known messaging applications that are already known by millions of users. Simply login and start asking Iris questions.
Iris is intuitive and aggregates information from multiple databases to provide you with context aware services. As datasources are added to the system, Iris learns and provides better answers to your questions.
Iris sends you alerts on your phone before, during, and after a storm to keep you updated with important weather and safety information. Alerts are more than just weather, they also include important information from city officials, notifications you subscribed to (for example from your power company) and local news headlines from a recent storm event. If you want Iris to keep watch on your local grocery store opens, she can also do that and send you an alert when they re-open.
One of the biggest concerns for residents when a flood occurs is getting back home when streets start to get flooded. Due to bad drainage, many roads can get so flooded that many cars can’t make it out. Iris makes avoiding these streets easy with voice command: you can ask it to find flooded areas or to take you home avoiding blocked streets.
After a weather emergency, there are few apps that will tell you the actual operating hours of businesses near you. This often means either searching the web, calling around, or avoiding going out to shops altogether. Unfortunately, when there is a weather emergency, there are certain trips that cannot be avoided, such as getting gas. Iris provides you with updated business hours and businesses near you that are open.
AfterStorm’s information crowdsourcing feature makes it quick and easy to report opening hours for everything from a store to a shelter as well as potential risks during a flood: power lines that are down, flood debris, water contamination, etc. AfterStorm was made for reporting, which can be done via voice or with just a few typed commands.