Red Hook Hackathon Looks to Help Locals Cope with Natural Disaster

By Nikhita Venugopal on August 29, 2014 8:53am 

 The Feast will host its annual conference in Red Hook this year with a hackathon that focuses on resiliency projects to help bolster the neighborhood in the face of natural disaster. Pictured: An image from the Feast's 2013 conference in New York.
The Feast will host its annual conference in Red Hook this year with a hackathon that focuses on resiliency projects to help bolster the neighborhood in the face of natural disaster. Pictured: An image from the Feast's 2013 conference in New York.
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The Feast

RED HOOK — Dozens of techies and entrepreneurs who are hoping to help Red Hook cope with the next natural disaster will put their best ideas to the test at a hardware hackathon that’s heading to the neighborhood this fall.

The two-day hackathon will take place on Oct. 10 and 11 — with a focus on real-world disaster preparedness, like setting up a communication network to “help connect people in the face of disaster,” organizers said.

The festival is being organized by the problem-solving group The Feast, which hosts a social entrepreneurship conference in New York City every year. The hackathon will be held in conjunction with the conference at Pioneer Works at 159 Pioneer St. in Red Hook.

One of this year’s themes is resiliency, said Miraya Berke, director of events for The Feast.

Organizers are still accepting teams to take part in the hackathon, said Berke, adding that they’re primarily looking for groups who already have a prototype or idea that they’re developing.

The tools must be simple and cheap for first responders to recreate while also having an open source element. The hackathon will organize meetups between teams and local first responders and businesses on the first day of the event, so they can test out their ideas in a real-world setting.

The groups will then present their projects and findings to about 350 conference attendees at Pioneer Works during the second day.

The event will be co-hosted with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Intel.

“We wanted to figure out ways to give back and support Red Hook,” Berke said.

To register for the hackathon, visit this website.

Editor's Note: Due to incorrect information from organizers, an earlier version of the story misstated the partners involved with the hackathon and plans to post projects online.

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