Hackers against natural disasters: accustoming people to risk

Hackers Against Natural Disasters

By Gaël Musquet, Chair of HAND, Ashoka Fellow

Guadeloupe, a French territory in the Caribbean, is one of France’s regions most at risk from natural disasters. The archipelago faces six categories of natural risk – hurricane, fl ooding, earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami and landslides – that are features of life in all islands of the Caribbean.

In 2016, Hackers Against Natural Disasters was set up with the primary aim of increasing resilience to these cyclically recurring threats. Every year since its creation HAND has participated in Caribe Wave, an annual tsunami simulation exercise held in the Caribbean region. HAND’s contribution to this exercise involves developing innovative digital tools that are accessible to everybody. The goal is to be able to provide locals with effective early warning prior to
disaster striking, and to restore power and communications (social media, amateur radio and smartphone apps) as quickly as possible.

HAND’s vision is built on the idea that everybody – men, women and children – are vital components in building a more resilient society.