When fellows Aurelio Tinjo, Emily Wright-Moore, and Joe Merante were in Austin, 1,300 homes in nearby Bastrop County, TX had been ravaged by wildfire. It was no surprise that the fellows decided to tackle wildfire preparedness as one of their projects. Armed with information from the Austin Fire Departments Wildland Urban Interface and citizen polls, the fellows built Prepared.ly to pull in weather data feeds, assess red flags and offers tasks for citizen fire preparation. In addition to building the app, the team promoted it heavily via blog posts, a Huffington Post opinion editorial article and via word-of-mouth to locals. The app continues to serve the City of Austin and offers near real-time information on property risk.

Led by government partners Doug Matthews and Mateo Esquibel, the fellows also built a virtual gallery for city hall, an app that tracks lost pets in shelters, an app that finds shelter and human services, a flood and emergency road closure map and public art mapping app.

More about Austin

The City of Austin has a thriving tech community of civic hackers, innovators and urbanists. It also offers an open data portal and continues to work on its open government platform AustinGo. In 2013, the city created an Innovation Office as a way to encourage civic tech transparency and growth. Austin also has an active BrigadeOpen Austin