Occupy Offshoot Organize Text Aid
By ROSS BARKAN
In the neighborhoods hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy, the first responders were not always the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Red Cross – they were the members of Occupy Sandy, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street.
A group already well-organized with structures in place to reach a vast number of people, Occupy Sandy believes they have succeeded where more established institutions have not, because they were nimble, hyper-networked and leveraged the right technology.
Occupy and Brooklyn-based tech startup Mobile Commons have worked together to provide an innovative text message-based system that connects people in need directly to the volunteers who can help them best. People in need can text SANDY to 69866.
They will be prompted to indicate their location and need, which is entered into a database.
Volunteers can text MUTUAL AID to 69866 with their location and resources. The system then pairs them up with someone who needs help.
Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127.