Unfortunately, natural disasters are a part of human existence. And recovering from a natural disaster requires coordination between the public as well as government and non-government organizations–but this is no easy feat. Disasters tend to leave the areas they pass through decimated, making it difficult for organizations to send out volunteers to distribute aid like supplies, food, and money.
The aftermath of a storm
Consider hurricane Michael, the category four hurricane that hit the Florida panhandle on October 10, 2018; Michael caused extensive power outages and over $14 Billion dollars in damages, a tremendous economic boom that left business owners and citizens with little to no devices to restore their lives back to normal–at least not anytime soon.
The wreckage and structural damage from a storm like Michael leave first responders, charities, and government organizations scrambling to help as the aftermath of the storm leads to further issues such as gas leaks and downed power lines. As you can imagine, in conditions like those experienced shortly after a storm passes, aid is difficult to distribute and if critical communication networks aren’t active, organizing relief efforts becomes even more complicated.
Technology to fight disaster
However, new technologies are giving us the ability to better prepare for storms as well as recover at a faster rate from the damage they cause. One company, in particular, has found a way to leverage blockchain technology and augmented reality to make it easy for individuals to donate, for organizations to distribute aid more efficiently, and for citizens to have easier access to disaster relief.
Imagine if you could receive aid via your smartphone instead of traveling to a disaster relief area in a town that has been practically demolished, or instead of applying for relief through programs that may take several weeks to process paperwork. Imagine if you could donate to a charity with 100% transparency, meaning you know where your funds go and how they are being used. Geon Network makes this a reality by making the donating and distribution process as simple as possible through their Proof-of-Location blockchain and Geons–virtual beacons that hold and distribute funds.
How does it work?
Geon is strikingly similar to the popular app Pokemon Go, but instead of finding pokemon, you find Geons, and instead of capturing pokemon, you receive money in the form of Geon tokens after completing a specified task.
This makes Geon a perfect mechanism to raise and distribute funds in an area that has experienced a natural disaster. By sending money to a Geon that distributes Geon Coins in a disaster zone, an NGO or other crisis relief organization can assist a community via virtual methods rather than sending out volunteers to dangerous environments; this allows organizations to shift their efforts into clean up, rebuilding local services, and search and rescue which will ultimately be more effective in getting the community back on their feet in the long run; opposed to dividing resources into tasks that can be automated like the distribution of financial aid.
Not to mention, donating and distributing funds through a Geon is a much faster and more transparent than traditional fundraisings and distribution methods. Geon is blockchain-based, so transactions that occur over the Geon network are automatically recorded to the blockchain ledger and settled nearly instantaneously.
New Technology, New Solutions
At a time when technology is a major part of our lives, it makes sense to leverage the 36% of the 7.5 billion people on this earth who own a smartphone. Disasters are an inevitable part of life, the southern states will continue to get hit with hurricanes and the west coast will continue to experience wildfires, but that doesn’t mean organizations have to scramble to help these areas out every time a disaster strikes. Technology has given us the ability to better prepare for disasters and their aftermath. Technologies like those created by Geon are able to help organizations allocate more resources into efforts that are more effective in restoring the community while expending fewer resources yet providing the same amount of relief–or more–on efforts that are more effective in the short term; for instance, raising and distributing financial aid.