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App for quick disaster relief

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has developed an App along with Air Watch to track disaster relief like Hurricane Isaac.

Hurricane Isaac has left the Gulf Coast but is still moving toward the midwest and threats of flooding and tornadoes still exist. New Orleans received nearly 20 inches of rain and about 3,000 people were evacuate. Louisiana National Guard worked with sheriff's deputies to rescue people stranded in their homes.

The Operation Blue Roof App (named after the blue tarps used on homes to identify the need for help) will be used at emergency centers.The Operation Blue Roof program provides free to owners a temporary roof for residential structures, schools, daycares and publicly owned facilities.

The mobile app tracks repairing damaged homes or properties from owners application to the completion of contract work. The process starts with the homeowner requesting assistance via kiosks or emergency centers located at the disaster relief locations. The Corps of Engineers manages the Operation Blue Roof program as part of its mission assignments by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Corps of Engineers priorities are to support FEMA and other Federal, State and local government agencies during natural and man-made disasters.

During disasters, USACE supports immediate emergency by sustaining life with temporary emergency power and restore critical infrastructures. According to AirWatch, Hurricane Isaac will be the first time the app is used.

Federal workers will access the homeowner or owner application data via iPhones or iPads to eliminate paper handling. In addition, smart phones are used to take photos, notes of damage and quantities of repair materials. These same devices use GPS to lead the USACE personnel to the location of the home and are used to communicate and deploy response personnel.


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