Oceanit creates disaster preparedness app for private citizens - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Oceanit creates disaster preparedness app for private citizens

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The myMerci app puts disaster relief in the palm of your hand.

Engineering and research firm Oceanit created a place for iPhone and iPad users to catalogue their property through photographs and documentation, creating a record for when disaster strikes.

"You can take a baseline. And a baseline is to capture the status of your property before the damage hits," Oceanit program manager Shari Kawasaki said.

Pictures are geo-tagged, date and time stamped, and uploaded to an iCloud. The information can be compared to a post disaster report.

"So now you have the before and after pictures to compare, to send to insurance, to send to FEMA," Kawasaki said.

Oceanit said the app could shave significant time off damage assessment. State Civil Defense uses a more extensive version called Merci for disaster management. The myMerci app is much simpler.

"This one will allow people to actually get the information on-line and available, open on the web, and actually give that information back.  Everyone can take a look at a common operational picture and see how things are going. I think it's important from that standpoint," state CIO Sonny Bhagowalia said.

"We want the state to be able to pull that information from the community into their system," Kawasaki said.

The app has privacy settings, but users can also share information at large.

"Any person can use the app to capture a shark attack, a downed tree, things that the public would want to know about," Kawasaki said. "You would mark it as public on your app. Then it would be available to the community on the web site."

The myMerci app is free at the Apple app store.

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