Emergency Operating System (EOS) is a forward-looking design that allows mobile devices to become lifelines in the period immediately after a disaster. This is not an app, but rather a part of the phone's native operating system that is activated during an emergency.
EOS uses familiar conventions to provide flexible, optimized communication for those affected by a disaster, a resource map for those in need, and a central hub for status updates from local and federal agencies. It is designed to enhance, not replace, existing services such as 911 and wireless messaging alerts. Our goal is to help people feel safe, informed, and connected.
Research & Ideation
We conducted interviews with two individuals who lived through the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Sandy respectively. Our focus was on their experience during the first 24-48 hours.
From this, we gained some big insights from our interviews:
- Most of the infrastructure continued to operate, although with some delays.
- Communication with loved ones is seen as an immediate need.
- Local resource areas were crucial.
- Bottlenecks in communication and supplies were prevalent.
How the interviews informed our design:
- Our system will be flexible enough to leverage the infrastructure still in operation.
- We will allow as much communication as the operational infrastructure permits.
- We will inform people of the local resources available in their area.
- We will manage data with the goal of minimizing bottlenecks.