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28 May 2021

Data at the point of use during a crisis.

Data at the point of use during a crisis.
How do you cope with the logistics of a disaster?

A fast developing county wide crisis needed a database now. The IT department said 10 months. A specialist FileMaker developer made a bespoke app live within 10 days and continued to develop it in real time as needs emerged.

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The Somerset floods were devastating. Equally volunteer help and donated goods came in torrents. The co-ordination of this response needed something unique.

Paula Blight was commissioned by Somerset County Council to head this. Her first response was she needed a centralised system to control it all. Apple's rapid development platform Claris/FileMaker Pro was put forward and a custom app was in place within 10 days.

The app started as a way of collecting data of the households involved and the tasks that needed doing. Volunteers went to each home and business and the app utilised the iPad's ability to take photos and collect data and signatures direct into the database. This info was available in real time back at the office.

As the situation became clearer the live app continued being developed in real time to catalogue the donated goods, seperate out the situations into individual tasks, keep track of materials & staff. It logged and tracked each volunteer every day, not only for efficiency but also health and safety. What gear did they need for the task tomorrow, and where would it need to be gathered from and delivered to by when.

All this was achieved on the fly as the situation was revealled and developed by harnessing the power of bespoke software.


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