28/09/2018

All Hands and Hearts is an international organisation dedicated to rebuilding disaster-struck communities. Their volunteers work with communities to build disaster-resilient homes and rebuild schools, daycare facilities and community centres. Today, they are working to help communities struck by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

But schools and houses destroyed by disasters often don’t have addresses and can be difficult and time consuming for volunteers to find. To locate the right sites more easily, All Hands and Hearts is using the free what3words app to identify, save and share each site’s 3 word address. With precise location information for every site, volunteers can be coordinated more efficiently, and have a greater impact.

‘In post-disaster rural Puerto Rico, we had a hard time using the addresses that homeowners would give us. The addresses here in Puerto Rico can be a bit confusing, and in most cases do not lead you to your exact location. On finding a house in our initial assessments, we retrieve the 3 word address and attach it to our work request forms, so that teams can go directly to the home. GPS coordinates are simply not as user-friendly with their long numbers. They can also be confusing, since homes here are so close together’ – LB Cook, Volunteer Coordinator, All Hands and Hearts.

To learn more about how what3words is helping organisations with disaster relief, next read how 3 word addresses are saving lives in South Africa’s townships.