World Vision uses mobile technology enables disaster reliefNature is an incredible force that cannot be stopped, altered, or controlled. We are at its
mercy as we see time and time again in movies like Twister and the Wizard of Oz, and in more unfortunate cases in our day to day lives.

Without fail every March to August we see the U.S. mid-west plagued by tornadoes. Those on the coast watch in terror as these homemade videos capture horrific scenes of fences being ripped out of the ground, cars tossed around like toys, and the damage to the places some people call home.

On May 20, 2013 an EF5 tornado mercilessly ripped through Oklahoma City at 200 miles per hour, damaging over 12 miles of the city including homes and incapacitating two elementary schools.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale is how the United States and Canada rate the strengths of tornadoes based on the damage they cause. An EF5 represents the most violent, significant and intense type of tornado classification there is. The BBC defines the EF5 as one without an upper limit, unlike the rest of the classifications, and the one last Monday was only the 59th on record since 1950.

This very tornado is responsible for destroying 2,400 homes and according to Oklahoma’s department of Emergency Management directly impacted 10,000 tornado. These people are without kitchens, without beds to sleep in, and without everyday items needed to rebuild their lives from the rubble.

How World Vision Is Helping

World Vision is one organization attempting to help this city. In the aftermath of a disaster similar to Oklahoma City’s, World Vision will work to provide relief assistance based on the needs of the situation as quickly and easily as possible. However, this process didn’t happen as swiftly as resources were needed.

Before they began using mobile technology, World Vision employees wasted a lot of time manually inputting data onto paper. Also, each recipient had to travel hours to distribution sites to be verified and recorded, including a fingerprinting process.

World Vision knew this wasn’t a sustainable process, so they co-innovated to create a mobility solution that would help them deliver relief quicker and efficiently. Now, single distribution projects are completed at least 50% faster. Where there are multiple distribution projects, there is a 90% time savings.

With the digital process, World Vision can now utilize big data to prepare reports showing the effectiveness of their efforts: before the technology was implemented these reports took up to 4 days with a team of 5 people.

World Vision has scaled this to be used in 10 countries and over 20% of their food programs with the intent of growing even larger. In the words of Farkas, “it’s a complete game changer.”

Check out how World Vision is helping those affected by the Oklahoma City tornado as well as their other noble efforts. Also, take a deep dive to discover how they’re using mobile technology to help more people.