Community Resilience in Emergency Management

Robin was joined by Ginny Katz, CEO of HazAdapt to discuss community resilience and inclusivity in emergency management; including the importance of helping diverse, everyday people connect to safety resources, adapt to emergencies, and overcome them. We also learned about how HazAdapt's own humanity-friendly platform supports bottom-up resilience and information sharing between the public and emergency authorities.

What is HazAdapt?

HazAdapt is an emergency assistant and hazard guide. It’s a free tool available on both app stores and on the web. HazAdapt helps communities to understand and plan what to do before, during and after an emergency. It can also help connect the public to the correct crisis response resources they may need during an emergency.

Haz Adapt Web App

How is HazAdapt used during emergencies?

With weather-related emergencies such as hurricanes, there tends to be some time to prepare ahead as we most likely know one is approaching. HazAdapt contains a hurricane function where you can see the preparedness sections. There it will guide you as to how to prepare yourself, your home, your family, your pets, etc. getting you and those around you prepared for your particular needs. HazAdapt can not only help you with planning for the hurricane but, it can also help you with the side effects of disasters caused from the hurricane such as flooding and power outages. Once the hurricane has passed HazAdapt can help you find resources to help you and those around you recover, for example providing you with tips for clean-up, and connecting you to recovery resources.

HazAdapt customizable guide center@2x

What is the Bottom-up approach in emergency management?

Most disaster tech is top down, including D4H, meaning they support incident command and managing the crisis. The ‘Bottom Up Approach’ means starting with the people, giving the public the tools and resources they will need for their own disaster response while also helping them connect to that top resource.

Bottom Up really refers to servicing the most vulnerable first and that’s the public.

Ginny Katz, Founder and CEO of HazAdapt

What is humanity friendly technology in emergency management?

HazAdapt is built by a standard of tech ethics, meaning the technology built by the team at Hazadapt is inclusive in how it’s designed. The team uses strategic design and implementation tactics to ensure their tech is inclusive. This means the tech at HazAdapt is inclusive whatever your cognitive learning style. The team ensures that HazAdapt is always easy to use, with all information written between a 3rd and 8th grade reading level and they offer seven different languages with more to come. The team’s goal is to create a guide that’s easy to use for everybody. Another way HazAdapt has incorporated humanity friendly tech ethics into their service is that they are geared to build individuals and communities, to work together to build resilience. Lastly humanity friendly tech for HazAdapt also refers to humane tech.

Humane technology in emergency management

Humane technology is a new movement for technology that doesn’t take advantage of people. Humane technology is an identification for what pitfalls that can be avoided to make sure that technology isn’t taking advantage of people and that it’s boosting the benefits, while avoiding polarization, ensuring togetherness and a shared reality with technology.

Humanity Friendly tech is those three main points, Inclusivity and Equity, Community Centered, and Humane Technology all in one.

Ginny Katz, Founder and CEO of HazAdapt

Helping the most vulnerable

During the Paradise Fire on the West Coast, HazAdapt played a significant role in helping those most vulnerable members of the public. Before the Paradise Fires it was known that this part of the US was potentially at risk for wildfires, and HazAdapt provided updates for signs to look out for should a wildfire be imminent, and how you can prepare your home, with tips on how to evacuate safely. One of the travesties of Paradise Fires was how fast it was, and how challenging that made it to alert the public. What HazAdapt could offer in that response moment of a wildfire, is along with sending a public alert for evacuation along with wildfire hazard information, for example what to avoid while escaping and how to best protect yourself and those around you. HazAdapt can also offer strategies for recovering, HazAdapt offers tips and instructions how to salvage your home safely, along with connecting you to recovery resources such as shelters, and support post disaster.

About Ginny Katz, Founder and CEO of HazAdapt

Ginny’s background is in disaster and diseases, beginning her career in disease control she discovered her passion for public health. Ginny has also completed a masters in Global Health. As an Artist and Digital Communicator, Ginny wanted to take both and combine them to support disaster response and preparedness in community resilience using her love of digital tools. Ginny studied and became passionate about GIS while studying for her Masters Degree and she was on track to become a GIS emergency response specialist.

It was during one of Ginny’s internships working within her local community she discovered the need to create an ethical platform to support community resilience ‘Bottom-Up’. She then began her Phd and built HazAdapt during her Phd research with other students on her campus. It is there she met her co-founders in a computer science class. In 2019, Ginny and her team gave their first pitch of HazAdapt to her local community and emergency managers, for which they won third place and received $200. Since then, the team at HazAdapt have continued to build relationships with emergency managers in the communities, working hand in hand to craft the platform and tool HazAdapt, that people can use during all sorts of disasters.

Ginny comes from a long line of emergency responders, with both her parents and grandparents working in some form of first response. This is what inspired her career in emergency management, giving her an urgency of being there for people on the front lines. Originally Ginny thought she was going to pursue a career in medicine, however she was introduced to Public Health and Global Health and the opportunity to serve more people, which inspired her drive to help the most people possible.

Helping people on their worst day possible, when they are most vulnerable, that’s where emergency management comes in, because they are there throughout the entire disaster cycle supporting the community, and I thought that was the most beautiful and highest calling, and I get to apply my love of digital communication in this realm.

Ginny Katz, Founder and CEO of HazAdapt

Ginny Katz with HazAdapt app

Dangers in the Afters

Disasters that are infrastructure damaging such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes can remain dangerous post-disaster as people try to navigate a potential loss of a home or a loss of other infrastructure,, especially if they are reliant on electricity for water, medication, and food. Most emergency management entities prepare resources for their public but as we see disasters become more frequent and severe, we have to reconsider how we are boosting the public to be able to also help themselves while emergency management is still trying to also su

Resources for Emergency Managers

HazAdapt have been working hand in hand with their local emergency management and local community to craft the best potential tool to help communities. While the tool does not replace 911 services, it fills the gaps that are hurting the public when it comes to disaster response.

How Emergency Managers can use HazAdapt

HazAdapt is a free service that you can get at (, which will help you to elevate your alert from just an alert to an inclusive hazard resource and information resource. In all hazard guides on HazAdapt you will find a list of Sources, these are professional and credited sources that the team of experts at HazAdapt use to cultivate the information pulling from national resources and credited research.

Our commitment is to make this tool equitable no matter where you are at on the wealth and poverty scale, this is an approachable resource.

Ginny Katz Founder CEO HazApdapt

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