Big QuestionsOur work related to complex challenges.

The Challenge

Connect city residents to each other for support through their own networks during natural disasters.


Other cities are using the simple toolkit to create a City72 platform of their own.


SF72, a platform that helps residents connect in times of emergency.

The city of San Francisco wanted to help its people become better prepared in case of emergency. While no one feels totally prepared for a natural disaster, people who are most connected within a local network fare better in an emergency.

So the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SF DEM) and IDEO teamed up to create SF72, a revolutionary platform that helps to reach people where they are. In times of emergency, the city will need citizens to be self-supporting for 72 hours (or longer) before local services or outside help kicks in. With that in mind, IDEO developed an accessible platform to help people prepare for those 72 hours in simple ways that fit into their daily lives.

The SF72 website helps people with five important tasks: Get connected, gather supplies, watch stories, make a plan, and have access to an updated Google map. SF72’s content is hyperlocal, but IDEO and SF DEM also created an open-source toolkit for cities worldwide. From San Jose to Denver, other locales are using the simple toolkit to create a City72 platform of their own. Most recently, the city of Oakland collaborated with Code for America to develop its own platform. The City72 Toolkit enables SF72’s ethos of social connection for resilience to scale and grow—city by city.

SF72 "This is our city" video.

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