We are always seeking feedback and input from people who have used Buoy or who are considering using it as a part of their personal or community crisis planning action plan. Please contact us and share your experience, too!

User experiences

These are some early impressions from people we have worked with to test, translate, and iterate on the first few Buoy prototypes.

Buoy appealed to me because of its unique approach to safety. It allows you to set up a group of people you might want to contact in case of an emergency and will send your location to that group. I really liked the fact that you could use it before anything happened as opposed to calling 911 where they won’t do anything until after an event has happened. I was among the lucky few who were the first to use Buoy and I was amazed at how well it worked should a dangerous situation arise. I will definitely continue to use Buoy to keep me and my loved ones safe.

—Sterling Sykora

I was impressed by Buoy’s multi-platform functionality/UI, even in the early stages of development. Additionally, I was impressed by the commitment to keeping Buoy entirely non-proprietary and open-source. I believe the concept of Buoy fills an unmet need for a trustworthy, private, web-based emergency alert and communication system, and I am glad to have played a role in its development.

—Scott Burck

The primary purpose of Buoy as an aid application for domestic violence is a really fascinating idea which will bring help to those in need when people do not want to call the police. The victims can use Buoy to communicate with their close people when they feel that calling the police will not improve the situation. [Testing Buoy] was a new experience for me, I never really work in a small project with such big impact. I was able to see how it all begins even if working on just testing and translating. It also opens my mind that I can work in technology in my house and still be able to help people all around the world. I was impress by the amount of time and dedication that all the people who works (testing, programming, and many more) on Buoy.

—Jose Villalba


A World Without Police: A Web App That Builds Autonomy

Buoy is a mobile web app designed to help communities exercise collective power and build autonomy, outside state structures like the 911 call system. We urge others to test it out, give feedback, and help the project grow.

Interview on FLOSS Weekly ep. 385: Buoy

Buoy is a free and open source, decentralized tool designed to quickly connect users with trusted friends, family members, advocates, and other allies in times of need. Buoy is a community-based crisis response system for any emergency in which someone needs help but might not want to – or can’t – call 911.

Interview on People of Interest, February 2017 (MP3 audio)

Members of the Better Angels Collective discuss Buoy on People of Interest, your independent local and national news show, heard thrice weekly on CKUW 95.9fm. providing alternative and in-depth perspectives on the issues and current public affairs affecting the University of Winnipeg, the core neighbourhoods and the greater Winnipeg community.

(Interview begins at 35:23 into the recording.)

Newscastic: 7 Albuquerque-Made Apps That Will Change the World

Buoy, a community-based emergency response app geared towards supporting survivors of domestic violence, won the hackathon and donated the $1,000 in winnings to S.A.F.E. House New Mexico. A lot of times, Crane notes, the only recourse in an emergency is to call 911. “But for domestic violence survivors,” she says, “that often isn’t an option. Many survivors don’t feel comfortable calling the police, don’t feel that their situation warrants that level of intervention, or simply have needs that could be better met by a supportive community network.” Buoy allows users in an emergency to directly connect with a network of trusted people; friends, family, or personally selected professionals, who can come to their aid in a crisis.