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WeGov

In Soggy UK, Is #FloodHack A Solution or a Shield?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 18 2014

Screenshot of a Youtube video depicting a flooded Worcester overtaken by swans (credit:INT/youtube)

What's that Prince William is cradling? His son Prince George? Nope—that's a sandbag. Prince William and Prince Harry pitched in to flood defense efforts Valentine's Day ahead of yet another winter storm. The storms have been so bad this season that they have earned their own BBC listicle, beginning with the October storm St Jude, which cost four people their lives, and ending with severe flooding along the Thames last week as it reached at its highest level in 60 years. On Sunday, London's technology community took a different approach to flood relief as they came together for a hackathon dubbed #FloodHack.

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WeGov

New Report Highlights Digital Revolution in Disaster Response

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, November 1 2013

Hurricane Sandy (Wikipedia)

The World Disasters Report 2013, released earlier in October, evaluates the way technology can aid in disaster response. The report states that it is “essential—and inescapable” that humanitarian action become more technological but it also warns humanitarian organizations not to rely too heavily on technology because it can exclude those without access to it.

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WeGov

One-Size-Fits-All Toolkit For Gathering Information In A Crisis

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, September 4 2013

The thing about crises is that they can take you by surprise. Although governments and humanitarian organizations do their best to prepare, it's nice to have something to fall back on in any situation, something like an emergency first aid kit for NGOs. The nonprofit media support organization Internews thought so too, which is why they partnered with Columbia University's Modi Research Group and Captricity to create the Humanitarian Data Toolkit.

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WeGov

How Do You Prepare For A Disaster That Could Kill More Than 300,000 People?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, September 3 2013

Aerial view of damage to Wakuya, Japan, following 2011 earthquake (U.S. Navy/Flickr)

An earthquake in the Nankai Trough, off of the southern coast of Japan's Honshu Island, could kill up to 323,000 people and cause ¥220 trillion (US$2.21 trillion) in damages. Or at least, those are the worst case scenario projections by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Disaster Prevention Council. To prepare for the potential calamity, the Japanese government is building an electronic mapping system in advance of the potential earthquake.

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WeGov

The Downsides to Crowdsourcing

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, August 26 2013

Crowdsourcing often makes its way into techPresident coverage, whether in a story about crisis mapping or election reporting. It has been a real boon for NGOs and government offices alike. Still, there are limits to the usefulness of crowdsourced information that must be acknowledged.

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In the Philippines, Coordinating Flood Rescue Through Google Docs

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, August 7 2012

The government of the Philippines is using Google Docs and promoting the use of Google Crisis Response tools as it responds to massive floods that have submerged a third of the country's capital city, Manila, and have killed more than 50 people in the past week, according to New York Times reports. Read More

After Surviving Colorado Tragedy, Going Online to Cope

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 20 2012

Whenever something out of the ordinary happens — just plain weird or, in this case, tragic — it seems like someone who uses the social link-sharing site Reddit was there, and is willing to share their experience with others online. After a shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo. that has so far left a reported 12 dead and 24-year-old James Holmes in police custody as the alleged attacker, people affected by the violence turned to their friends and family for support. In some cases, this meant turning to fellow Reddit users. Over the next few hours it'll be safe to expect a lot of coverage about how the Internet offers a new lens for people outside of these events to connect with people who were there. In this case, though, we're also seeing people who went through a traumatic experience going online to share what they saw — partly, it seems, for help getting it off of their chests. Read More

When Disaster Strikes, Local Meets Social

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 23 2011

Fast Company's Neal Ungerleider explores how people in Missouri used social media to communicate in the aftermath of a Sunday tornado that ripped the town of Joplin to shreds: Joplin is a mid-sized community of ... Read More