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Communities on the Frontline: Week of May 25

Release Date

Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on communities that have found new, virtual ways to get people the help they need.

Smart911 Application

New Orleans is using a new technology that relies on artificial intelligence and cloud computing to provide 911 and 311 call centers with enhanced location, videoand chat capabilities. Callers can volunteer personal data via app-based profiles that provide responders important data, including COVID-19 status, without asking for it. Responders are able to remotely triage callers via video chat and begin treatment while putting distance between the patient and other people.

#WeAllMove Web Platform

The World Economic Forum COVID Action Platform, in partnership with a private company, created the #WeAllMove web platform. The platform allows users to find mobility operators around the world for different needs, such as access to vehicles for grocery delivery, alternative commuting options and commuting solutions for both healthcare and essential workers. Some options for healthcare workers are discounted or free.

Staying Connected Phone Program

The Ohio Department of Aging introduced a free, automated daily well-being check-in phone service for residents in Ohio for people ages 60 and older in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The "Staying Connected" phone program is available 7AM-6PM daily and contacts participants within the one-hour window the user selects upon enrollment. The service confirms the well-being of an individual and then offers to connect them to the local Area Agency on Aging for further information or assistance. If participants do not answer after three attempts, a call is placed to the alternate contact on file. The program is intended to extend beyond the pandemic.

Virtual Disaster Assistance

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has been sending postcards to reach residents that include methods to virtually apply for disaster assistance for damage sustained from severe storms and flooding in February in lieu of going door-to-door. In situations where a physical presence is required, the agency has collaborated with nonprofits to manage three disaster assistance centers, where staff and volunteers wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

These stories are part of the FEMA Best Practice initiative which focuses on compiling the best practices and lessons learned from communities fighting COVID-19.  To see more stories like this, visit the Best Practices page.

Last updated March 17, 2021