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Buoy: A community-based crisis response system

Join the project chat room Build Status for develop branch Download Buoy from Current release at Required WordPress version Buoy is licensed GPL-3.0

Buoy is a decentralized 9-1-1 alternative built for and by people who are not well served by existing emergency response services. Buoy makes it easy to tell your friends where you are and what you need. Buoy's goal is a world where anyone in distress always has the option to turn to people they trust for support, rather than being forced to rely on people they don't.

Buoy is not a traditional "app" that you can download in the app store, but rather a system for adding crisis response and emergency dispatch services to existing websites. With Buoy, community groups, activist organizations, and social support service providers can quickly connect people who need help with trusted friends, family members, advocates, and other allies who can help them. It is designed to be community owned and operated, so each instance of Buoy can be customized to the unique needs or the organization or community group that hosts it.

Whether you are a group of street medics coordinating with each other during an action, citizen journalists or copwatchers watching each other's backs, domestic violence survivor support advocates, or even single parents picking each others’ kids up from school, Buoy helps you get and give peer-based mutual aid to your friends and comrades.

Installing Buoy for your community

If you already have a WordPress website, Buoy can be installed automatically from the WordPress plugin directory by searching for "Buoy" in the "Add New Plugin" screen of your WordPres admin site and clicking the "Install now" button. (Learn more about installing WordPress plugins from


Buoy is free software. It was developed and is maintained primarily by a nomadic hacker named maymay who has a lot of fucks to give about supporting survivors of any of capitalism's horrors, along with a growing group of volunteers who call themselves the Better Angels.

Even if you don't code, there's a lot you can do to help make Buoy better. Here are a few.


You can support development and maintenance of Buoy by donating to our crowdfunding campaign, or by directly supporting its primary developer, maymay. Click here to donate via PayPal, or visit for maymay's personal donation portal.


If you speak multiple languages, you can help translate Buoy into more human languages. This helps make Buoy available to people all over the world in their native languages.

Learn more by reading our Translator instructions.


If you use Buoy and are familiar with how it works, you can help others learn about the tool by writing about how you use it. We maintain a wiki that you can edit to add your own guides, walkthroughs, and suggestions.

You can also write articles on your website or blog. If you do, please connect with us over social media or email to let us know.


The easiest way to get started contributing code is to use the Varying Vagrant Vagrants ("VVV") project to make a local WordPress development environment. Then fork the Buoy project on GitHub and git clone your fork into your VVV's wordpress-default/wp-content/plugins/ directory. See our wiki for a step-by-step guide to setting up a development environment.

Patches and pull requests are very welcome! More information at our Developer documentation.