Hurricane Sandy was devastating to those in the New York and New Jersey region, including students at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. That’s why professors at the school challenged students to create a tool for the public to use in situations like Sandy. They wanted to easily share information and answer the many questions that were up in the air during the storm and its aftermath. Questions such as “does the utility company really know my neighborhood is without power?” and “how can I get information without having electricity” or “when will this be fixed?”
That’s why students Jason Bonafide and Chris Lewis, with the help of professors Dr. Patricia Morreale and Dr. James Drylie, created an app that the public could use to connect with utility companies on repairs and updates. They dug into learning more about utility repair and the processes involved. The project has been in continuous development with the help of students Allan Goncalves and Carlos Silva as well.
The app works by users reporting their outage via GPS. The user then receives a confirmation when the problem has been added to a repair database, and the user can check on the status of the problem throughout the outage, up until the repair is done. Users an even check the status of when the repair is expected to be completed.
While students and faculty hope the likes of Sandy will not devastate a community again, they created the tool to be helpful in such a situation and lend some light to those waiting in the dark.