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What is Sahana?
Sahana is a web based collaboration tool that addresses the common coordination problems during a disaster. The New York City Office of Emergency Management has worked with contractors, the original creators of Sahana, and the international open source Sahana community to modify the application to fill operational gaps in the New York City Coastal Storm Plan.
Technology and infrastructure
- WAMP/LAMP technology stack (Windows or Linux Operating System)
- Apache Web Server
- MySQL database
- PHP/Perl programming language
How is Sahana Organized?
Sahana is organized according to functional modules. The following are module descriptions describe the main functions of New York City Sahana
Site System - Manage emergency sheltering facility profiles
The Site System module tracks basic information about each of our CSP sheltering facilities. Data points: Facility name, address, operational use, staffing pattern, opening sequence
Staff Registration System - Store contact information for NYC employees designated for CSP operations
The Staff Registration System (SRS) organizes contact information for the city employees who have been assigned to the CSP. SRS database size is limited only by hardware (currently configured for ~68,000 staff) Data points: Unique Identifier, first name, last name, Emergency role classification, agency, PMS ID, civil service title, home address, work address, three phone numbers, two email addresses, language information, and drivers license classification
Shelteree Tracking System - Monitor shelterees staying in city run shelters
The Shelteree Tracking System captures information on people seeking shelter in the NYC sheltering system. Shelterees are organized by family representative and include pets in the family unit. Data points: Name, age, address, pet information, family composition, facility within which the family is taking shelter
Staff Activation, Notification, and Deplyoment System (SANDS) - Activate and assign ~36,000 CSP staff to over 600 discrete operations
The Staff Activation, Notification, and Deployment System (SANDS) merges data from the Site System and the Staff Registration System to assign 36,000 staff to over 600 discrete operations based on the geographic location of the staff and the needed staff classifications of the activated operations. After facility activation, staff assignment, and message creation take place, that information is pushed to a third party mass-messaging provider who has the ability to send text and audio messages to ~60,000 people in under 40 minutes.
Reporting - Provide situational awareness for decision makers and logistics coordinators
The reporting module integrates table-based data aggregation and googlemaps mashups to provide real time situational updates on staffing levels, shelteree levels, shelteree population characteristics, shelteree family timelines, and a search function for staff and shelterees.
Administration - Manage accounts, passwords, and application configurations
Who uses Sahana?
Administrators at the Office of Emergency Management, Department of Homeless Services, and city employees in the field are all users of Sahana.
How does an Evacuation Center use Sahana?
Evacuation Center Sahana staff are responsible for electronically checking in all staff assigned to the Evacuation Center and it's attached Hurricane Shelters. For step by step instructions, please go to (include link)
How does a Hurricane Shelter or Special Medical Needs Shelter use Sahana?
Hurricane Shelters and Special Medical Needs Shelters Sahana staff are responsible for electronically entering shelteree data. Currently, Sahana staff at Hurricane Shelters and Special Medical Needs Shelters do not check in their own staff.