The Challenge | Don’t Forget the Can Opener!

Create an easy-to-use way for people to develop their own, custom checklists – both items and plans – for specific kinds of disasters. Use NASA images, videos, or data visualizations to illustrate each disaster type, to help people understand how to prepare.


The worst is about to happen. What you gonna' do? Cry?! Or, use our DoomsDay service to get advance warnings, notify friends and family, and get detailed survival guides to beat the system!



The world is a huge, unpredictable place. Anything could happen at any time, sometimes without warning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so our Doomsday service aims to help humanity by offering an online and offline notification system with resources to help people in times of need. Would you know what items to take in the case of a flood? What about that unexpected heatwave? As for those pesky zombies...machete anyone?! Sign-up today and start to build your own unique survival plan using pre-prepared kits or adding your own specific items and notes for you and your family. Data synchronisation takes place each time you open the app, so even in the event of total loss of infrastructure you can access your plans to keep you and your family where's that machete?!

Serious stuff...

Technologies used

  • MS Azure SQL PaaS (data store)
  • MS PowerApps (interaction and data management)
  • MS Flow (notifications)
  • MS Power BI (data visualisation)
  • MS Azure (CDN)
  • MS Teams (collaboration on the project)
  • 7 cloud-based services and VMs spun up

Data considerations

  • Events (stuff that could happen)
  • Resources (the things you'll want)
  • Collections of resources (kits)
  • Relationships of kits to resources (plan to plan)
  • Alerts (panic time!)
  • Users and groups (friends or enemies, it's all good!)
  • Skills (who's the subject matter expert?)

APIs and connectors

  • For demonstration, custom API used to manually trigger the "alert"
  • Push notifications to mobile phone
  • Flow to write data back to the database


The idea is that the user would have an app, and the app has hooks into APIs from various resources to obtain advance warning of "events". When an event is triggered, an alert/notification would be sent to the user, and depending on the event, the severity, their location, and their survival list, the app would detail procedures and which kits to take to stand the best chance of survival. Using longitude and latitude it can also calculate things like altitude and distance to direct the user to safety.

As well as being proactive, the solution can be used offline or in reactive mode where you know something will be happening or you might be going somewhere with extreme conditions. The same app can be used to facilitate both. Data gets synchronised to the local app to facilitate offline use where required.

Big data

With mass adoption the app will produce a significant amount of data about "preparedness" across the globe. It will allow the identification of high risk areas where there is a low level of preparedness, and potentially assist the manufacturing industry where there is a high density of a particular resource being needed.

Challenges faced

  • Lots of different technologies to integrate
  • Defining the end point and setting the scope of the Minimum Viable Product
  • Managing scope-creep once sufficient progress had been made

SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.