A Smarter Path to Disaster Reliefclose
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the East Coast impacting the lives of millions of people from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. and causing more than $71 billion in damages. Even more powerful than the storm’s devastating effect, however, was that on the morning of October 30, the most asked question in America was, “How can I help?”
The answer wasn’t so simple. Many times after a natural disaster, like Hurricane Sandy, relief efforts are difficult and multi-dimensional. Affected communities, however, need help that is quick and impactful. Recovers.org was created to provide just that. It is a website dedicated to deploying human resources and material support for affected communities in an efficient and standardized manner.
Founded by Caitria and Morgan O’Neill, Recovers.org grew out of the sisters’ own experience after a devastating tornado tore through their hometown of Monson, MA, about a year before Sandy. The online platform built by these sisters makes disaster response smarter and easier to implement through a lightweight, community-powered toolkit. Recovers.org also spurs tailored local response efforts by coupling the needs of those who are most directly affected by natural disasters with volunteer and local relief organizers who turn interest into action.
“If we can get the right tools at the right time to the people who will inevitably step up and start putting their communities back together,” says Caitria, “we can create new standards in disaster recovery.”
That new standard helped jumpstart a Hurricane Sandy recovery effort in the sisters’ own neighborhood—New York City’s Lower East Side—where within one week, 5,600 volunteers registered on Recovers.org to help support the community.
Since then, from Washington State to Texas to Florida, and everywhere in between, Recovers has grown to offer individual communities a variety of tools, including: Volunteer Management, Case Management, Donation Item Databasing, and Information Sourcing.
Toyota is proud to honor some of the world’s most promising female innovators and inventors—including Caitria and Morgan—through its sponsorship of the Mothers of Invention program. Each Mother of Invention recipient is recognized at the Women in the World Summit and awarded a $50,000 grant in recognition of the recipients’ creativity, drive, and determination in creating something new to advance a social good.