Twilio.org, the nonprofit foundation of cloud telephony provider Twilio, today announced a new toolkit with a set of communication apps designed for rapid deployment during an emergency.

Twilio launched its social good initiative last fall, offering organizations $500 in credits and a 25 percent discount on its products. The foundation’s goal is to send “a billion messages for good.”

Meghan Murphy, Twilio’s Senior Manager of Community and Twilio.org, said in an interview that the company decided to create the rapid response kit because it had noticed that efforts to build new communication services in reaction to disasters often came too late to meet the original needs of the community.

Out-of-the-box apps from the toolkit, which is the inaugural entry on Twilio.org’s Github page, include an auto-responder, one-way broadcasting, dedicated conference line, call forwarding and help lines. Twilio.org hopes that the non-profit community will help power the Rapid Response Toolkit by forking the repository to build new apps.

auto respond 520x283 Twilio’s social good foundation releases an open source toolkit for rapid emergency response

Alongside the toolkit release, Twilio.org has also created a resources page with links to partners and other apps, such as The Polaris Project, CityVoice and Call Your Family.

Smartphones have enormous potential to help us during disaster situations, and it takes a collective effort to tap that potential. Twilio.org is taking a step in the right direction today with its new open source tools.

Image credit: Christof Stache / AFP / Getty Images