Sunday, February 20, 2011

iPhone App for Disaster Shelters

VisionLink has launched a Shelter View iPhone App now available in the Apple iTunes store, providing information about disaster shelters across the United States.

Using the elegance of the iPhone platform, the Shelter View application displays real time information about open shelters, their capacity and locations.  Information is updated every thirty minutes -- utilizing the NSS Shelter Data Exchange Standard authored by VisionLink, and the National Shelter System deployed by VisionLink for use by the American Red Cross, FEMA, and many other local, state and federal emergency management officials.

The application is also available to the public, and is available in the App Store at no charge.

The application provides links to donate, or to view up to date disaster information from the Red Cross Newsroom website.

Design and development costs for the Shelter View application were contributed to the American Red Cross by VisionLink, Inc as part of the CommunityOS(TM) platform.

Download it now.  It's the one app on your iPhone we hope you will never need.  It is, however, a great easy way to keep up to date with small and large disasters across the United States.

You can find it in the App Store by searching for American Red Cross, or Shelter View.  More iPhone and Mobile Apps are coming.  Stay tuned!

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Year Celebration, San Diego 2-1-1

We are pleased to be a sponsor of San Diego's 2-1-1, Five-Year Celebration today.

Held on National 2-1-1 Day, the event features Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Qualcomm Inc, and Jessie Knight, Jr., Chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric

San Diego 2-1-1 is a thought leader for 2-1-1s and information and referral across the nation.  They are focused on the business processes of success, a "hub" model of community resources where their 2-1-1 resources can be leveraged in support of many, many organizations and initiatives across their service area, and on an expanding revenue stream leveraged to support those in need.

VisionLink joins a number of other sponsors including Qualcomm, Sand Diego Gas & Electric, Bank of America, Hitachi, The Leichtag Family Foundation, SDGE, inContact, and many others.  View more information here.

We are also very proud, of course, to deploy our CommunityOS software solution for their 2-1-1 call center and resource directory operations.

Congratulations on a sold out celebration and fund-raising luncheon!

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day

February 11th is National 2-1-1 Day.

Best estimates are that nearly 20 million people have used 2-1-1 to seek assistance of one kind or another by dialing 2-1-1 on their land lines or cell phones.

We are particularly pleased to be a premier provider of 2-1-1 software.  In fact, our 2-1-1 customers, along with our customers in the general information and referral business, elder care, homeless management, education, and disaster relief sectors support clients and resources in more than 14,000 cities and towns across the United States.

From Washington State to Florida, from California to Maine and many, many places in between, thousands of staff support many thousands of callers.  The point?  Connecting needs to resources in a timely and effective manner.  Working together our communities are stronger, more resilient, and better prepared.

VisionLink's CommunityOS solution is all about placing 2-1-1 and information and referral systems at the hub of their community, serving as a consolidated resource for community needs and resources rather than yet another silo in the social services.  CommunityOS focuses on the suite of tools that let different agencies and organizations partner together to offer coordinated assistance and coherent response to a wide variety of needs every day, and around the clock.

Congratulations to the 2-1-1 providers across America!

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Additional Assistance to 2-1-1 During the Winter Storm

VisionLink Account Managers are offering additional support to our 2-1-1 and other information and referral clients as they are either directly impacted by the Winter Storm, or as they serve as back up call centers to others.

The CommunityOS platform is hyper-flexible.  Intake forms can be changed on the fly, bulletins and announcements can be updated in real time, new resources can be deployed, relevant dashboard reports can be delivered to key decision makers -- and much more.

If you are a customer and would like additional, no-cost support, please contact your account manager.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.

Social Media Data Mapping

Assisting the American Red Cross, VisionLink's Community Operating System is being used to deploy a real-time national map for this Winter Storm.  The view includes FEMA boundaries, open disaster shelters, social media hash tags specific to the Winter Storm, and other relevant information.  Users can view the entire region of the storm, or zoom into local areas.

It is the combination that is powerful: as the same CommunityOS solution can also register, track and provide case management for clients; capture, map and assess community resources (for day-to-day and disaster use);  manage volunteers and much more.

In the disaster realm, this solution is the same platform supporting the National Shelter System, Safe & Well, and the Coordinated Assistance Network.  A new national website is being designed now for the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster.  VisionLink is a formal partner of NVOAD.

Let us hope we do not see too many large scale storms, but when the need arises, we are honored to support relief efforts nation wide and around the world.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.