The EPICenter Los Angeles began with Dr. Peter Katona's recognition that to reach Los Angeles’s desired resilience there would first need to be a comprehensive database of current disaster management and response systems. He also knew that for maximum public and governmental engagement such a disaster resource must be openly available and create opportunities for participation.
Katona brought his ideas for a bi-directional platform to lauded designer Niall O'Kelly of O'Kelly Design. The New York and Amsterdam-based designer specializes in strategic branding and interface design, and his work has been consistently recognized by the Webby Awards, The Communicator Awards and the GDUSA American Web Design Awards to name a few. Sketching out the structure, wireframes and the visuals began in early 2012, along with developing the name and branding for the organization. The Kelowna, British Columbia-based Cheeky Monkey Media joined the project as the primary developers for building the site based on the designs. They were brought on board for their specialist knowledge and expertise in developing complex database-based sites and backends within a Drupal framework.