The Grassroots Disaster Relief Toolkit is a collection of resources made to support communities organizing mutual aid-based disaster relief.
Its goals are to:
- Provide a way for individuals and groups to organize the logistics of relief work and form relationships.
- Support the documentation of lessons and skills being learned.
- Visualize disasters so that they are easier to organize around and ensure smaller disasters aren’t forgotten.
- Provide a forum to discuss how other actors, like the state and non-profits, are participating in disasters.
Limitations of the Relief Toolkit:
- Our ability to organize justly and equitably online is limited. We support relationships being built and coordination of work being done in-person, on text threads, etc. whenever possible.
- We support the use of other apps and tools when appropriate. This site is limited in features for supporting acute, street-level response work during disasters. Other online resources are better equipped to provide live, on-the-ground information.
- This site is NOT a secure place to discuss subversive organizing. All material and discussion on this site is publicly available.
- This site is meant to support work around acute disasters, such as climate disasters and toxic spills, but the map is currently NOT built to support creating disaster pinpoints for long-form, chronic disasters, such as houselessness crises and pandemic surges.
Read more about the Relief Toolkit’s Principles of Use, Moderation Guidelines, and Security here.
Making the Relief Toolkit Better
This project’s developers are so excited to have launched the Grassroots Disaster Relief Toolkit in November 2021, but we still consider the site in a testing phase. Over its first year in use, we expect to encounter bugs and learn a lot about how we can improve it to better support its community.
Experiencing a bug? Have a suggestion for improving the site?
Submit a ticket using the form below and we’ll review it as soon as we can!
You can also always contact us at [email protected]. Thanks in advance for your patience as we iron out the kinks.
How long will it take for my submissions/edits to be approved by the administration team?We do our best to review all submissions within 72 hours.
What kinds of disasters does the Relief Toolkit support?The Relief Toolkit is designed to support organizing around acute, climate or environmental disasters, such as hurricanes, toxic spills, and fires.
We recognize that the ongoing impacts of colonization and capitalism, such as houselessness, food insecurity, police violence, and pandemic, are also disasters. However, our platform’s tools were built specifically to focus on supporting work around acute disasters. If a disaster is acute and has a definitive start date, we can add it to the map and create a forum board for organizing around it. For example, if a fire started spreading in August, we can add it to the map, and organizing around the ways that fire created or exacerbated houselessness or food insecurity are definitely supported. But map pinpoint and forum board submissions for the general houselessness crisis in a given city can’t be supported with the Toolkit’s current tools.
Who are the creators of this platform?The Relief Toolkit was dreamed up by members of Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADR) and developed through surveys and conversations with the MADR network. Its creators are passionate about supporting mutual aid-based organizing around acute disasters through the tools offered on the site and eager to learn how to adapt and expand these tools to better support communities’ needs. Our team of developers believe in this project’s potential impact and have brought the project to life with a lot of love and care.
How can I get involved in supporting this platform?We’re a small team hoping to grow intentionally. If you have web development skills, are interested in helping administer content, or want to contribute to the vision of this platform, please email us at [email protected].
Can I create a disaster profile/map pinpoint for a disaster happening outside the United States?During our initial release, we’ve decided to not approve profiles or map pinpoints for disasters happening outside of the U.S. In the near future, we plan to work on making this platform accessible to people outside the U.S. But in the meantime, we have yet to develop a team and the tools to responsibly support people with different language needs and don’t want to support people from the U.S. who don’t have connections to a community speaking to their disasters.
Suggestions, questions, concerns?
Interested in joining our development, content administration, or design team?
Send us an email at [email protected].