San Francisco has launched City72, an open-source emergency preparedness platform that enables communities to help each other before, during and after an emergency. With the sharing and collaboration platform, communities can leverage traditional and digital social networks as part of their emergency preparedness and response. The digital initiative was launched during the recent White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day.

The City72 Toolkit is available as part of the platform. The toolkit is designed for local governments and provides the information and resources to create a customized City72 site for any city or region.

"San Francisco embraces innovation and technology to connect people and resources for a more resilient city and world," said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. "That's why we created City72, a platform that connects all diverse communities, businesses and families to one another, and provides them with resources they need to be better prepared before an emergency occurs."

Modeled after SF72, San Francisco's emergency preparedness hub, the City72 Toolkit allows any area, large or small, to create a preparedness platform for their community, no matter their technical capabilities. The toolkit includes open source code that allows local governments and web developers universal and free access to the City72 design and blueprint. It also allows universal redistribution of that design and blueprint, including any improvements made by other communities or developers.

For communities that do not have access or resources to hire a web developer, the City72 toolkit offers a content editor that functions as a "ready to go" website. This tool provides simplified emergency preparedness information alongside templates designed to showcase hyper-local videos, images and sentiments that are unique to any community creating its own City72 site. All communities have to do is add their own text, images, and videos.

"Like many cities, we know getting people to prepare for an emergency is challenging. The truth is most people find it overwhelming and don't want to talk about it," said Anne Kronenberg, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM). "We developed SF72 for San Francisco to change the way we approach emergency preparedness. City72 allows us to share our research and work with communities across the country."

SFDEM used innovation and design firm IDEO to help develop City72. IDEO is based in Palo Alto, Calif. "We moved away from fear-based, instructional messages that do little to inspire us to get prepared," said Kate Lydon, IDEO project manager. "Instead, we wanted to design a platform that used San Francisco and the connections we have in this city as the reason we get prepared."

The City72 toolkit is available for communities and developers at this site. It contains printable guides designed to help users create their own City72 site, open source code for City72, and the City72 content editor. It also includes planning tips and resources based on San Francisco's experience developing SF72.

In this video, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee discusses the launch of City72.

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