California Disasters: Blizzards, Floods, Mudslides & Wildfires
California is a hot bed for disasters in 2023. The weather has been brutal and unforgiving. The combination of epic snowstorms will lead to floods and mudslides in the Spring. Vegetation lost to wildfires in the past decade due to a lack of rainfall will not hold the soil and will likely lead to additional wildfires in the dry season. California disasters are not going away anytime soon, and it is important for public safety to be prepared.
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PubSafe for California Disasters
There are many features applicable to the situations in California disasters but the key aspect to getting assistance includes members requesting help, and members responding to help requests.
PubSafe is a community response platform where people help each other. PubSafe provides a way to visualize and share key information needed to quickly and efficiently respond to help requests. In an emergency, people should always call 911 first since PubSafe is not monitored by government agencies.
When an assistance request is posted, an alert is sent to people nearby that are within a reasonable distance to respond. PubSafe provides details on what exactly is needed, where it is needed, and the timeframe it is needed. Citizens, NGOs, Gov and companies can choose to view and respond.
Getting Help in California
How the PubSafe mobile app can be used to request assistance from other PubSafe members in the area.
Full Transcript of Video
Everybody Aaron with pub safe. I am. Browsing Facebook and I am. Shocked and disappointed actually in a couple of things related to the California snowstorm. I see a lot of people that are just trapped I mean the snow is just absolutely epic.
I mean I’m 53 and I’ve never seen anything like this before. Anywhere you know if this was up in Alaska maybe you would kind of expect it and you’d be prepared for it But when you look at California, You know what their situation has been for the last, you know decade or more with everything being so dry you see this much snow and you’re just flabbergasted by what’s going on. And consequently you know we we see people that are. Trapped. they didn’t see it common They got themselves in precarious situations Their vehicle got stuck.
And you’re hearing about these you know these great rescues that are going on. on the national news every day you know somebody stuck in their car for a week 10 days. We’re running out of food medicine things like that. And all I can think of is. Why are people not on the pub safe app There is a free version.
Of the pub safe app. That every citizen in California could be posting to if they needed help. And it puts that information on a map which, you know the government. It could watch it if they wanted to they could have a user just like everybody else. And they could just simply look at the map and see where people are posting.
requests for assistance. You know the whole idea of pub safe is to connect people on a unified platform over a very large area even globally. So people can you know reach out and help each other They can. you know they can see where the people are that are in need They can understand what they need and they can either provide assistance if they’re capable and qualified. Or they can simply just say Hey you know Hey there’s somebody over here Hey fire.
or whoever did you see this And see what’s going on this guy over here It says he’s been trapped for three days without food and water. He’s got two dogs and he’s you know his car won’t start, you know that’s the kind of information that you can get from pub safe. you know the the and again the mobile app is free You can scan the QR codes right there and you can install it and start sharing it and you can you know set it up for your church you could just do it for your community, whatever those things are. There’s no reason why we should see people stuck in vehicles for long periods of time stuck in homes for long periods of time. And California is going to be a mess for a long long time I mean this is, you know the snow’s a major problem with people don’t starve because they can’t get to any food or resources.
You know when all this snow melts it’s going to have to go somewhere. It’s going to go into the soil. It’s going to create loose soil There’s going to be massive amounts of mudslides. A lot of it because a lot of the vegetation’s burned off the report.
or forest management over the years you. It’s a bad policy. perhaps. And you know the root systems aren’t going to be there to help hold the land together. And they’re going to have giant mudslides and there’s going to be flash flooding that’s going on all over the place.
So this problem that we’re seeing today is just the beginning of what California is going to be dealing with for a long long time. And it just happens to have started at an epic scale. You know I look at California and I see, you know this is really something along the lines of what I would expect to see from a hurricane, a hurricane. Ian here in south Florida which is where I’m in Tampa actually. And you see these types of epic.
super widespread problems that create overwhelming situations and you’re seeing people jump in. And you know Pope say was created just for that to connect people so they can help each other you know the government can’t do it all. We know that we’ve seen it time and time again. They’re great professionals and they do a great job at what they can do but they can’t be everywhere. And you know, can’t have an expectation and our government’s always going to be there for us.
You know but what we can do is rely on other Americans who have a common,
shared value system of being American at the core to reach out and help one another You know we may be divisive and divided throughout the course of the year but invariably when we run into situations like this, all that just goes to the wayside and we all become Americans which is great And you know it’s. It’s you know when all things just kind of seem hopeless politically you you see something like this and you see how people pull together and it doesn’t matter no matter who you are what you believe, where you’re from. You know whether you are a citizen or not a citizen. everybody’s there to first and foremost try to save some lives, both people and animals but then also just to relieve suffering. because these are not easy situations and you know there’s people here.
Especially cause in in today is March 8th. there’s rain six and eight inches of rain that they’re talking about coming. in the next day or two and what’s going to happen is that rain’s going to fall on that.
you know that snow. They’re just sitting eight and 10 feet deep on a roof which was not designed for that kind of load. And it’s going to triple the weight and those houses are gonna are going to give way I mean there’s people that will probably die in their homes. Sitting there thinking everything is okay It’s next to a wood burning stove. The next thing you know the roof’s gonna fall in and people are going to get hurt and killed, which is terrible.
You know pub safe is one of those things We don’t have to wait for a disaster to you know or someone to get injured. You could say Hey look I can’t get out of my driveway Can someone come help me? And what happens in the mobile app It actually broadcasts. Two other mobile app users within a particular radius depending on the type of assistance needed. And people can look at that Cause they’re.
pub safe app is going to get alerted and it’d be beep beep Hey look you got something that popped up within you know, X miles of you Can you assist? And the answer may be no because a you may not be qualified You may not have the resources You may you may be stuck yourself, but you know maybe you have cellular communication when somebody else doesn’t. You know that type of thing, and maybe you can transfer transmit, translate you know
information to other people. You know if the fire department’s outside and they’re not looking at pub safe which I would encourage them to do. but yeah they’re not looking at it You’d go outside and say Hey look here. This is where this person is And this is what they’re telling me that they’re going to need. let me pull up a quick.
Screen capture for you of. Just what. help request screen looks like. And there’s a couple of different help requests screens available You know you kind of go in you first you pick, you know what type of general category of health are you looking for? And then you can go down through the checklist of.
You know request specific things within that category that allow you to. You know be specific with what you’re looking for. And because we do it that way we’re making sure that we’re able to put different information in different buckets right? Then it allows us to put information out there that can then be searched It can be sorted. You know if NGOs are using or looking at this they can go straight out and go straight to people.
I think about the number of people that can be helped if people aren’t wandering around trying to find somebody. You know because they don’t know their exact location you know? In these situations you can’t even see the road signs. You know say I’m at a hurricane those students get blown over in California disasters. They’re just buried in snow. So you know to be able to use the phones GPS.
To determine location means that you’re going to have a very exact location There’s nothing lost in translation. if they don’t speak English there’s no typing information incorrectly. If you know,
you know they put a one instead of a, you know a zero or whatever, you know sometimes addresses and the online systems don’t look up exactly where the property is, you know it’s. It’s a big area in the house is actually the one across the street and it’s set back a little ways but the address shows. You know closer to a different house So now you’re searching the wrong home, right That kind of stuff happens all the time in the, In these environments with this chaos. So. you know the pup safe app uses the phone’s GPS to improve accuracy which means better efficiency, better response faster response.
And if you can respond faster more efficiently, ultimately what does that mean? A it’s costing less money right From a government perspective. But B it means that you can do more and help more people. Right? and because we’re collecting specific information let’s say somebody says, Hey I need, I need help getting out of my house I need a ride I you know I can’t stay here any longer.
and I’ve got some animals. Well, you know, What are animals What does that mean Are they. Or the chickens. Or the pigs are they dogs and cats right. You show up and, you know you bring in a cat carrier and they’ve got a, you know a great Dane You’ve just you know you you’re not gonna be effective You’re gonna waste time even talking about it.
While you try to figure out what to do because nobody wants to leave an animal behind especially a pet, right? So that kind of situation is where pub safe shines in collecting that information and making it readily available in a format that is good for everybody. So I’m going to actually I’m going to…pause for one second I’m going to be right back. But I’m gonna use I’m actually going to pull up the pub safe app and display it on my screen and show you guys a little bit more of what this thing looks like when it’s actually. being used you know, this might be a good time scan though.
The QR codes on the right side of the screen and get the free app I mean it’s what have you got to lose by. pub safe for me. You know I tell people pub safe is the app that you want to have, but hoped you but hope you never need Right. And whether you have a flat tire dead battery or stuck in 25 feet of snow. You know
at least you know it’s there there’s a process. The community. you know the the population is working to you. Get unified with how we share information outside of nine 11. I do want to be perfectly clear.
9 1, 1 is not monitoring pub safe Right? This is about people helping people. You know if they were to watch that’s great more power to them I encourage them to do so, but…if they’re not you know Hey, it is what it is. you need to always call 9 1 1 first You want to make that your first stop, you know We…are not a replacement for, for 9 1, 1 by any stretch of imagination So. do that first cover all basis and then, you know post up to the pub safe mobile app and see if somebody in your area is available now.
You know the way this whole thing works is you’ve got to have people that are on the platform right? If you’ve got people that are some people using Facebook and some people are tweeting and this and that. That’s that’s information all over the place It doesn’t make any sense right Not in today’s age. Pump safe is a platform where everybody can go from…
you. The most rural place to the most populated place. And you know get help and offer help to those people. That are in need. you do have to have cellular connection You have to have an internet connection, right It’s obvious.
Yeah That’s how smartphones work. if you don’t have that. You’re going to have to just sit it out until they get your, you know restore your communication services in your area. And you can get going So hang on one second Let me pull up a Pope safe app And let me show you a little bit
Okay so here we are I just launched pub safe on my phone And you’ll see here that there’s some status information You can edit that information over here if you want to. And really what this is doing is providing transparencies to make sure that you understand how the app is set up Now Not all of this is available in the free version so let’s just be You know perfectly clear This is really designed. or there’s a big portion of this design for NGOs to help manage their organizations and respond to help requests and things like that. So there may be a couple things in here that you’re gonna see but I’m gonna try to focus on. You know really what comes in the free version So everybody can take a look at it.
the other thing is which is not displaying on my phone is when you do first do an install it’ll pop up and it’ll actually show you the different things on the screen that you should be paying attention to So it’s like a. Built-in tutorial to help you get over You know the kind of the new platform.
you know shock type thing So you can see I’m just use. my fingers to zoom in and around on the map. The black icon is always you that your location, The green icon like you see here with the silhouette means that that is a citizen. You can be in citizen status or responder status So a citizen is like Hey I’m a user I’m a member here I am a responder or somebody that for some particular reason says that they have a qualification I have some short that should be recognized. like we see here with this.
orange and responder icon. That they may you potentially can call on me to go do something because I have a skillset. And you can click on that person which I’m not going to do because of privacy issues. but you can click on that person Matter of fact, what I’ll do is I’ll just click on myself right? So, oops…
There’s my info You can text me or whatever it doesn’t bother me. more than happy to meet up with you or talk to you or do a web demo for you If this is something that your organization wants to look at and then maybe you’re a community church or something like that, but this is the type of information that you see and, all these icons if I’m sharing certain types of information, And what my status is Do I have any help requests open What do I look like So if you were searching for me you have got a picture of me. All of this you you can either add or not add You don’t have to be on the map at all If you don’t want to you can change What’s called your visibility and you do that by clicking the eyeball in the top here Right That’s this right here. So you’ve got these visibility options. You know pups have community that’s everybody You can be invisible from everybody.
And then we’ve got some other options for other levels of the app.
for paid versions of the app So that’s not what we’re here to talk about but it’s important that you know that you can go invisible at any time with the app. Right And then the next thing that you need to be aware of is how do you get, assistance So you’ve got two options You’ve got you know a help request icon up here and you’ve got another one down here. Right So. let’s click the top right One…
And it brings this little window up and you’ll get the same window to regardless of…whether you click on the top of the bottom one. This one down here says you know Hey this is routine. This is not a life threatening situation that I’m requesting assistance for. You know if you’re running out or something or you don’t have power and you think you’re going to need help in the next few days that’s great. If you have something that is a priority which…is distinguished on the map and the type of alerting that can be done, then you would select the second option.
The benefit of doing that is it helps prioritize. people’s response right People could look at that that are in the area saying Hey look we’ve got 20 people that need help but three of them are telling us that they have a priority assistance request. And that’s important you know we all want to receive assistance when necessary but we understand sometimes you’ve got to take care of somebody else who perhaps running out of medicine or something of that new. So it’s super important to be able to distinguish between the two. So I’m going to click on the routine and it’s just saying Hey look, people that respond or are doing their best you know, There are limitations in liability It’s the good Samaritan act that comes into play here.
you know, let’s not let’s not…
Get all legal here. So at the top you selected the general type of health that you’re going to need Let’s say you need transportation So you select that And when you select transportation, then what you’re doing is you’re giving the people that are looking at this information and the idea of what’s going to be necessary to transport you. You know Hey it’s just general transportation. Hey that’s fine. I got you know, myself and my wife we just can’t get out because we’ve got two wheel drive vehicle and we need a Jeep.
Right And then you can go here and then you can add what we call just called media Right You can add a photo video or you can add an audio file. Sometimes an audio file might be all that you can do simply because of bandwidth problems. you can also just skip this piece but a photo. Is also very very telling for people to look at what you’re doing and your situation, and really believe that you’ve got a problem And when you look at some of these crazy pictures of the
the snow here in California, You know, all right When somebody says a road is blocked and they send a picture like that. You know the roads blocked And if you’re going to go try to help that person, just from the photo, you can tell that you’re gonna need a chainsaw and probably a truck to move some wood. If somebody says you know Hey I got a little snow on my roof and you get a photo like this you look at that and say, Okay That’s not a one man job. You know and that’s going to take a couple hours what can we do in the short term to assist with that? So that roof doesn’t collapse, right So photos of videos are actually a very important part of this process.
And you know, it tells a lot about what’s going on. but you can skip that So I’ll skip that And then it takes you to this screen where you can type in a free form comment. You know something. not everything fits into a check box. You can type in a comment that
you know is important to you That’s going to help people understand your situation. you know if you have let’s say you’re on an oxygen tank and you’ve got. You know four hours of battery left. You know that’s probably something that you need to put in here to share with people. And then what you do down below is you indicate how long.
The event is going to be or the post is going to be applicable. And then you move on to the next and what’s going to happen is after three hours let’s say it is going to expire. And get removed from pub safe because we don’t want information lingering about on there for days weeks or months. you ended up getting a lot of data noise and people don’t know what. to respond to the other thing is that when you post a help request you’ll actually get an email and you want to hang on to that email because if you no longer need help there’s a link in that email that you can click that will cancel your help request and remove it from the platform.
Right That’s super super important as well You know if you’re okay. And that hasn’t changed, remove it. So people don’t keep trying to get assistance to you when they should be helping somebody else. The other thing is don’t keep reposting you know posting five six times Isn’t going to help you A matter of fact people will start tagging you to be banned. And then your
your help requests are going to get taken down because it looks like you’re spamming for some reason. So you know one post that’s all you need. If somebody can help you they can see it They’re going to do what they can, you know and go from there. And if you have some of the, you know the paid service you may have an active team You may have an organization that you want to share the info with, but, You know my particular organization. On here right now is the pup safes are ICC.
organization you would actually just want to share too. the public. and then you have an option of not alerting others So you could post the not alert You know that’s usually done for testing. That type of stuff. if you need your GPS coordinates we’re putting them right here for you You can then email or SMS and that’ll open up and share it out for you.
And you can also click to call 9 1 1 If you haven’t done that already what you should have. You can click to call 9 1 1 right from here. And I’m not going to do any of that because this is actually live. So basically back out of things you can jump straight up to the map icon in the top right-hand corner…
Which is here that brings you back to this screen. and then you’ve got my status So if you are connected to people and you know you’re just trying to update people, so they understand that you’re doing okay, then you can. just do a my status update right? It’s like it avoids a wellness check and a wellness check is something that a lot of volunteers do. But it takes time and effort for people to to come out there and see you.
So you go in here and just kind of indicate what you’re up to where you’re going, the things that you’re doing. So when someone searches for you on the map, then. You know they can check on you that way. and the bottom right-hand corner of the map here And since I mentioned finding people and things. it’s important Understand that you can search the map and what’s you’re searching is what is displayed on the map So as you move around, Like if you zoom back into this area, Then, you know you’re going to be searching the users that are displayed on the map So you’ve got to get the map close to what your, your, you know your search area.
users that choose not to stay visible on the map are going to be removed from the map So what you’re seeing here are those people or users that have opted to stay visible. doesn’t mean that they’ve you know they’ve been active in the last week. But it doesn’t mean that there’s not a handful of people in that area that have decided to be invisible on the map in that same area. Right. It.
important to understand that you can’t interact with other people when you are in the invisible status. So change your status over if you want to chat with somebody because you can click. Oops. You can click on somebody’s icon. And you can actually chat with them One-to-one so you, you know if you can’t make a phone call for some reason or you want to start having a little bit of a chat record, then you can, you can chat them.
One-on-one. Okay. All right So. and then so that’s my status You got help And then you’ve got sit reps, which are just situation reports and that’s sharing information with anybody. Excuse me That’s anybody that’s looking at the platform.
You know, if you say well I’ve got 16 feet of snow in my yard. And you post a picture with that. People could look at that And you’re not saying I need help You’re just saying Hey I’ve got 16 feet of snow in my yard. That lets people know you’ve got 16 feet of snow. You know it’s especially important in in flood situations when people are oh, you know the water’s rising but I’m okay.
You know that helps
you know responders allocate resources to different areas right If they can look at your sit rep and they can see 15 sit reps in the same area they’re all saying the same thing They’re looking at photos and video of the same thing. It all seems to match up. Then Hey you’re in great shape. You know they will either send resources or not send resources based on the, the totality of the information that they’re pulling from that area. And they’re not gonna respond to sit reps like they would help request, but what we’re doing is we’re helping those that are responding be more efficient in their jobs and their roles.
So they’re not chasing their tails wondering what’s going on. the last one on the bottom is location and all the time this happens all the time It doesn’t matter Wildfires floods, earthquakes. Tornadoes whatever there’s always locations to get set up as a rally points or aid locations aid stations. And when you update. an aid station or location It actually broadcast to the people in the area.
And that way those people age they know where they can go to get aid instead of waiting for word of mouth to filter through a neighborhood, they get this alert and they can see the aid station. And then the person that creates the. Location can then go back and do updates. And that’s important because things change all the time You know Hey I’ve got food now I’m going to feed 300 people at you know an hour or two from now You’re down to like no food and you can you can change the location information. To reflect that So people aren’t going there looking for something when that resource is no longer available.
That’s certainly important when you’re talking about hospitals and medical,
first aid type facilities. They’ve got no beds They’ve. You know they can’t they’re not a level one trauma center or something like that. You don’t want to waste time going there when you could’ve gone two miles in the other direction. And actually you know, Saved a bunch of time because.
you didn’t go to the wrong facility to start. retail is the other big one. You know, Our big box stores can update Hey I’m getting generators I’ve got plywood I’ve got snow shovels I’ve got this I’ve got that. arriving here two o’clock on Thursday and you know people know Hey I can go to that store or Hey I should not go to that store because they’re telling me they’re out of generator. Let me go to the other store over here.
And those updates in these desperate situations can be hugely beneficial to…people trying to maximize their time…
And save…money and opportunity So, the last thing here is you got a quick post you know if you drive it along you know fuel’s a big one right So we’ve got, you know gasoline’s available diesel’s available. This road’s closed or blocked whatever those things are. And then as you’re moving around, you can look at it on the map and see what’s going on. It’s not ways you know it’s ways like, but, you know waste has had 28 years. Or 10 15 years with the Google budget to develop what they do.
We’ve been at this awhile. So we’re we’re working in. You know some of those directions but you can still post that information. And you can browse around your neck of the woods and you can see what people are posting about various locations and there’s location. It looks like somebody didn’t fill me info.
So, There you go That’s the, that’s the pub safe platform So that help request is going to be the big one. That you want to use here in the lower menu. It’s
there’s a lot more to the platform that you don’t need to know about at this point unless you’re an NGO. so don’t, you know don’t get too wrapped around it. Just install the app create your little profile and in the hamburger menu which is the. This one up here. You see you’ve got your profile on your settings and you can go in there And there’s a couple things in there that are part of that process.
If you do want to be a responder. Right For some reason let’s say you’re a firefighter You’re off duty or you’re a nurse. And you have those skills You can go in here and you can change your role. Right from citizen to responders When people are looking at the map they’ll know that you potentially are somebody that can go handle something. people are not pre-qualified on pub safe.
That’s not what we do. so you know there is this good Samaritan. Effort that people are putting out there. that comes into play. So keep that in mind You know you don’t want to respond to something that you’re not qualified for.
You You don’t want to get hurt. Sometimes you got to go because it’s the right thing to do And you you know you accept that risk.
but. you know so Pope safe is is out there for people to use And, let’s not have people stuck in their cars anymore trying to get help We don’t know where they are. You know it could be Snowmageddon or it could be you know you slide off the road and fly. and end up in a swamp That’s happened to. you know, Puff safe Is there I mean it works globally too so it doesn’t matter if you’re traveling, it’s using your location about every 30 minutes in the background just to see what general area you’re in.
If you want it to if not you can turn it off. So you know, if you needed help and you were traveling, on a motorcycle trip in Brazil. You know pub safe would be able to alert other people in that area. And if you’ve got a flat tire and they’d be able to come out and help you. Or, your car won’t start or you know let’s say you’re elderly or disabled You can’t shovel your driveway.
Somebody can need
post that to the Pope safe app and you know what maybe there’s a nice guy in the neighborhood that’ll come over and help you out. We have seen throughout time. over the last especially the last 10 and 15 years where technology started to play into the disaster response how much people are interested in helping. And it really started with the Cajun Navy and hurricane Katrina. you know was that.
Almost. the sea. What eight, eight years ago 10 years ago now. It’s been a while, but we saw this whole grassroots volunteer effort kind of kick up. And you know I think a lot of it has to do with a lot of military vets are looking for their next mission.
And this really kind of falls into that They have particular skills that are great for this type of environment in activity. Then you couple that with you know experienced wilderness people. And medical professionals and really what you really only have to have his initiative to get out there and do something Right. So, you know
being part of the solution is just kind of part of being an American. Not only do we help our own but we help people globally to right. you know, the terrible earthquake in Turkey. Is one of those examples where you know Pope safe would be effective and helping identify where aids you know needed, even in the Ukraine you know post-war when this whole thing is over how they’re going to rebuild. Sharing internationally because, I could be sitting here in Tampa and I can be looking at what they need and Ukraine and understanding.
To the house. Actually down to the house of what that user needs you know whether it be baby clothes or food or, you know fueled burn in a stove or something like that. So you know Pope safe is an international platform. So, you know, I just wanted to get online and talk about this and help people understand, you know the more users that are on the pub safe platform the better off it’s going to be. And because it’s free you’ve got nothing to lose with
getting started and and getting out there you know this type of thing here help us. Well wouldn’t that be more effective actually? May not be more effective. This this particular view has gone viral Right Which is great how fast they got help who knows? could they have gotten help faster because of posting to the pumps a platform quite possibly cause the help us doesn’t tell you where they are what they need, how many there are, what they need help with you know that that type of thing So.
You know this is an emotional image here. but it certainly has showed up in almost every major news network reporting on these situations. So again you know if you’re in California God bless you And then hope. You work your way through this and your community works your way through this. hopefully we can You know we can grow on the pub safe platform and we can alleviate some of this suffering that we’re seeing.
And at least get to people faster you know help those people. That are around us and come together as Americans. So good luck to you and we’ll see
hopefully down the road…