New York

NeedMapper lets Sandy victims request help by text, track issues via an online map

With a combination of old and new technology, NeedMapper is launching today to help coordinate requests for need from Sandy victims in New York City.

You can submit help requests to NeedMapper via text messages or an online submission form, and view unfulfilled requests through an online map. The service was built by the team from OrderMapper, a startup that lets businesses offer mobile delivery services, with sponsorship from Twilio.

You can create a help request by texting “NEED” to 607-269-HELP and remove it by texting “DONE” to the same number. Those looking to volunteer can contact people seeking help directly.

Jennifer Turliuk, a NYC technology evangelist who helped create NeedMapper along with the OrderMapper folks, tells us the project still needs quite a bit of help. In particular, they’re looking for testers, people to plug in help requests into their system, as well as Ruby on Rails advisers (and anyone else who can help them scale).

NeedMapper is just one of many projects that kicked off after the New York Tech Meetup put out a call for help last week. One thing’s for sure, we’ll certainly be better prepared with new high tech tools come the next big storm in NYC — as well as anywhere else in the world facing a major disaster.

Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr