/ 2021
Expect the unexpected

harbor — Planning for disasters big and small made accessible for every home, because sometimes tomorrow doesn’t look like today.

Long story short

The emergency-preparedness mobile app leaves nothing to chance, and that includes its development. STRV engineers made the app’s entire architecture dynamic, while keeping the business logic, code and testing scalable for other platforms. The app was soon acquired by Citizen, another STRV partner. 

harbor Highlights

Chosen as App of the Day on the App Store
Led by former Headspace exec Dan Kessler
Featured on TechCrunch, Wired, Business Insider
Acquired by Citizen to accelerate transformation of public safety

Services / Deliverables

— Product Management
— iOS Engineering
— Backend Engineering
— Frontend Engineering
— QA

About harbor

ready = safe

Every year, the US is hit with natural disasters and man-made emergencies that threaten people across the country, and for which proper preparation is key. Yet there’s never been much structured guidance out there. That’s where harbor comes in.

harbor helps Americans protect themselves and their homes via location-based, comprehensible suggestions. Critical information, family plans and documents can be viewed easily and at all times, even offline. And to guarantee automatic risk assessments, harbor aggregates data from emergency management agencies FEMA, NOAA and USGS.


simple & flexible

harbor sought to compile the complex processes of emergency preparation into one mobile app. 

Because many emergencies are unpredictable, the app had to be fully dynamic and scalable to other platforms. STRV came in to create a highly malleable product hand-in-hand with the harbor team. 

Soon after we joined, harbor scored a notable investment and became an extremely relevant tool due to COVID-19. As a result, the release of the iOS app was assigned a strict, fast-approaching deadline. The scope of the project drastically expanded, priorities shifted at lightning speed and STRV was asked to deliver 13 engineers (plus QA analysts and a product manager) in order to expedite development.


built to scale

Our team needed to think fast, working closely with the client to establish product specifications. 

We joined forces with harbor’s engineers, keeping the goal of platform adaptation in mind; our engineers adapted the app’s business logic, code and testing to be scalable for other platforms if needed — like Android, web and smartwatch.

To avoid becoming an overwhelming list of tasks and necessities, the app had to gamify the process; preparation had to be gradual through quick activities users could get done once or so per week, and features had to be easily added based on the emergency at hand. And to provide relevant info, the app had to offer suggestions based on the user’s location.

A unique engineering challenge was keeping the app’s entire architecture dynamic. Along with harbor’s team, STRV delivered — building a product with an advanced administration tool. Every screen, every user flow and view is dynamic. Admins can create content and build new events in cases of unprecedented or unexpected emergencies, without the need to incorporate engineers in the process.

Despite the time pressure and impromptu changes, STRV never compromised on quality. Our engineers, QA analysts and product manager remained in sync with the harbor team from start to finish, and we are honored to have dedicated our efforts to something that can truly save lives.