MIST – Mobile Cloud Infrastructure for Environmental Disaster Relief
In the event of an environmental disaster, coordinating relief efforts involves hundreds of stakeholders, and mistakes can mean the difference between life and death. Accurate information is crucial, and a lack of infrastructure can impede collaboration and communication between rescue teams. In our research, we met with emergency volunteers, disaster researchers, and the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team to identify user needs in disaster scenarios. We leveraged our findings to develop MIST – a ruggedized, portable server infrastructure designed to bring the power of cloud technology to isolated emergency situations. With custom engineered hardware and software, MIST provides a centralized environment to communicate and share data on desktop and mobile devices. In addition, we developed an Android application that automatically transfers data between MIST and other rescue teams. With MIST, rescue workers can rapidly collaborate and share information between teams, reducing avoidable mistakes, and helping them save more lives.