Advocates Ideabook

THE BUOY PROJECT – Tech For Justice

The winner of the New Mexico Tech for Justice hackathon was THE BUOY PROJECT .

Here is the description of the project — an emergency services line for a community — from the site.

Buoy is a private, enhanced 9-1-1 for your website and community. It is a community-driven emergency dispatch system because everything about it’s design is based on the idea that in situations where traditional emergency services are not available, reliable, trustworthy, or sufficient, communities can come together to aid each other in times of need. 

Buoy can be used by groups of any size, ranging from national organizations like the National Coaliation Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), to local community groups such as Solidarity Houston, or even private social clubs such as your World of WarCraft guild.

The more community leaders who add the Buoy system on their websites, the safer people in those communities can be. Buoy is software that equips your website with tools that your users can use to help one another in the real world; the more buoys are deployed on the ocean, the safer traveling becomes for everyone.

Inspired by community-based emergency response technology Better Angels, development for Buoy originally began at the September 2015 Tech for Justice and New Mexico Legal Aid event to develop technology-based justice tools around the issue of domestic violence.

The Buoy project currently consists of a fully functional prototype for a web-based app based on a WordPress plug-in, which you can download here. The ultimate goal of the Buoy project is to develop a native shell mobile version of the Buoy app. 

buoy mobile img

How can I get Buoy?

Since Buoy is so new and is designed to be used in real-life emergencies, we are only working with a small group of alpha testers in order to ensure that there are no major technical or usability issues before its widespread adoption. However, we are very excited about the possibilities and we are currently looking to include more people in the testing process. If you think this is exciting and want to help put the finishing polish on this tool, please get in touch with us here.

That being said, if you are a community leader, and you maintain a WordPress-powered website, you can try out Buoy right now by installing it directly from your WordPress admin screens! It’s just as easy to install as any other WordPress plugin. Similarly, if you yourself are not a “community leader,” but you want to try it out, you can either ask to join our private testing phase or you can tell others in your community about Buoy and see if the group of you can install it on your own group’s website.

How it works




More information about the app, how to use it, how to set it up, and what it does, is compiled here.

In order to be maximally inclusive, though, we’d love to have the app be translated into Spanish. To that end, we’ve made a separate space where anyone who speaks both English and Spanish can use their Web browser to help us translate the app from English into Spanish. To help, sign up as a translator from this page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.