Crisis preparation can also help formal aid decisionmakers. The Standby Taskforce, as one of the more organized Volunteer & Tech Community groups, has activated for several crisis preparation deployments. They have deployed for disaster simulations in Columbia and Samoa and mapped for preparedness in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the latter project, SBTF volunteers assembled population data, baseline pre-disaster indicators, and constructed a timeline of major recent political events, conflicts, and disasters. This information was provided to the Assessment Capacities Project, which seeks to improve humanitarian aid by improving actors’ understanding of the needs of the affected population. SBTF also crowdsourced the curation of preparedness information in South Sudan.
An even more ambitious SBTF project were the 21 country profiles volunteers produced to develop deeper regional awareness ahead of disasters. Regional teams produced an emergency directory of disaster risk management organizations as well as a database of “pointers”, country-specific knowledge that might prove useful to volunteers and staff unfamiliar with the country.