Living in New Jersey, it is not uncommon to have experienced a flood. Since Superstorm Sandy in Oct. 2012, many have had to undergo complete home reconstruction or even relocate.Even at the tail-end of 2022, Monmouth County experienced major flooding in coastal towns. NJ.com and the weather service reported Sandy Hook recording waters up to 8.89 feet, Manasquan and Belmar more than 7 feet of water, and Keansburg with more than 9 feet. This is the highest on record since 2018.
Understanding this issue and it soon to become worse due to climate change and other environmental factors, Monmouth students Ava Taylor, a senior computer science student with a minor in GIS and Homeland Security, and Giovanna Cappadona, a senior business administration student with a minor in biology, decided to come up with a solution that allows users to report and view local real-time data about flooding conditions. Using their app Fludz, users are able to report flooded areas, if conditions are worsening, road hazards, flood depth estimates, and more all in real time.
Taylor stated, “I was inspired to create Fludz because of the increasing amount of flooding I saw on the news. It was devastating to see the increasing amount of loss of life and other damages that come with flooding.”
With the main goal of educating and informing the public with the most accurate flood data, users are able to not only prepare but evacuate from these conditions as well as spread the word to other users so they can respond and arrange plans accordingly.
Cappadona and Taylor are both finalists for The Center of Entrepreneurship’s HawkTank and will be pitching Fludz on April 17 in The Great Hall Auditorium. Both Cappadona and Taylor credit Alison Gilbert, the Director of The Center of Entrepreneurship, as well as professors Dr. Raman Lakshmanan and Dr. Geoffrey Fouad.
“Dr. Raman Lakshmanan and Dr. Geoffrey Fouad have dedicated so much time to helping me bring this project to life. This would not have been possible without the two of them. Alison Gilbert has also been a huge resource to us throughout the HawkTank Process and we are very thankful for all of the help and guidance she has provided us,” both Cappadona and Taylor expressed in an email statement.
Taylor said, “Finding out I was a finalist was such an exciting moment. I am so honored to be a part of an experience like this and it has given me so many real-world opportunities to put my app out there before the contest has even happened. Working with Giovanna has taught me a lot about the business side of making something like this successful.”
Cappadona concluded, “When Ava invited me to join her for HawkTank I was not expecting an experience like this at all. Being a finalist is so rewarding, it feels like the start of actually using my degree to further something other than my GPA. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it and to work alongside Ava to build it!”