As we all know, disasters can strike any time and anywhere, creating a sense of urgency for communities and individuals involved. Working in partnership with first responders, emergency managers and public officials, the Canadian Red Cross is able to respond to disasters by providing vital assistance to those affected. Shelter, food, water, clothing, family reunification, first aid, and help finding support, are all critical assistance that the Red Cross provides in the aftermath of an emergency and during times of recovery. But in the hyper-connected world that we live in, it has become increasingly evident to humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross, that one of the greatest needs is real-time information.
In the immediate aftermath of any disaster, people want to know the answers to questions. People impacted by disaster are not only concerned about basic necessities such as food and water, but rather how, when, and where they can access aid. Which is why Jim Garrow, who writes the Face of the Matter blog says that access to wi-fi is a critical need for getting people on the road to recovery following a disaster. Here’s an excerpt from his blog:
People are looking for information, and humanitarian organizations can help. You see, in my title and call, I’m not asking for radio broadcasts. I’m asking for access, for a super fat pipe that can download and upload information. I think we’re in the midst of a radical change in how we do emergency response these days. It’s no longer just about saving lives, it’s about empowering survivors, too. By giving them the tools they need to be useful and helpful, we can not only hasten the changeover to recovery work, but also shorten the time needed for their personal recovery, for saving their lives later.
Jim’s perspective provides an interesting insight on the increasing need for information in emergency situations and how humanitarian organizations should be fulfilling this need. Take a look at his blog to read more about why access to wi-fi is important in emergency situations and let us know what you think!
Filed under: Red Cross Tech Talk | Tagged: assistance, disaster, Emergency, Tech Talk, technology in disaster, technology in emergencies, wi-fi | 2 Comments »