D911's First Test
The D911 RELIEF mobile application was in testing status on 9/28/22 when Hurricane Ian made landfall at Fort Myers, Florida including the areas of Cape Coral and North Fort Myers. D911 deployed the model/system within a limited group during Hurricane Ian response. The total timeframe of reference is four days including the day of the storm.
Hurricane Ian Case study
The D911 RELIEF app was deployed within a select group of providers (four food trucks) in theater delivery drivers in two neighborhoods that had reported no interactions with any relief agency up to our time of arrival (2 days post storm or “Day 2”)
Neighborhood #1 was a suburban neighborhood in Cape Coral with relatively light structural damage and no reported flooding of homes.
Neighborhood #2 was a low-lying neighborhood of small homes that flooded between 4 and 12 feet of water at crest, severe structural damage, a mix of mobile homes and small structures, consisting of about 250 homes.
Neighborhood #1 strategy was to initiate a “Driveway Distribution” point by locating a spontaneous resident/home that was self-motivated prior to D911 contact into that role. The “Driveway Distribution” option for volunteers is an option any individual can choose to provide on the D911 Responder app. The point of distribution (POD) was located within the garage and driveway of a single-family home. The resident in the house received approximately 200 24/case water bottles, 100 units of instant coffee, and two deliveries of ready-made meals numbering a total meal count of 250. In addition, the distribution point had 25lbs of raw ground beef, (w/storage containers and ice) on hand to give away as well as Ready To Eat (RTE) boxed desserts that were shelf stable. They reported distribution of all the items within a 48-hour period to about 60 families. They went door to door with some goods and provided a meeting place on the driveway during daylight hours for others to pick up goods. These residents had the ability to go to a POD provided in the standard model of response, however many reported no having to go to the POD due to the availability of the Driveway Distribution point.
Neighborhood #2 strategy was to deliver food into the area and contact each resident individually that was still present. This location had structural and logistical challenges of debris piles from storm damage and flood damage. The smells were a significant factor for the D911 driver as they were at times overpowering. Residents were directly contacted, and the driver used the D911 system to assess needs and connect the available supplies. Using ice cold water (it was 90+ degrees and humid in a flood zone with no power) as a conversational starter to win over residents, the driver successfully contacted 192 individuals and distributed more than 250 hot meals. Neighbors referred neighbors to the driver who in turn leveraged locally available resources to meet some of the requested needs. On day 3, the driver connected a church and food truck for an extended and on-site services to better support food needs in that area. The food was free to the residents, the church and D911 paid the food truck for the meals.
The residents in Neighborhood #2 were primarily unable to travel outside of walking distances due to flood damaged vehicles, lack of financial resources, and lack of communication due to flood damaged mobile devices. They were typically unaware of any POD available (one was located 2.7 miles away) in the standard response model. They required a purposeful, manual entry and a systematic method of acquiring minimal and necessary relief supplies such as food and water.
The system was used successfully by the survivors resulting in 500+ hot meals 100 cases of bottled water and immediate cold water/cokes and coke zero being delivered into the neighborhood (keeping +/- 150 vehicles from relief supply lines at points of distribution)
The meals were produced by local food trucks that were recruited into operation by a financial incentive of purchasing the food prepared at typical pricing. In all cases, a special menu was spontaneously devised by the operators that reflected the availability of supplies in the moment. All meals were nutritionally complete and calorie dense, (BBQ/Tacos/Pasta/Burger/Potatoes etc.) The D911 driver was from outside the area requiring 24 hours to get into the event theater. Representing one driver focused on a single neighborhood. Water was purchased in an outlying city (Ft Lauderdale) and brought into the area.