1 minute readDisaster
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Social Tools in Emergency Situations

Fighting for Innovative Healthcare [YouTube]
Dr. Carmeline Mathurin from the Haitian Red Cross is interviewed in this Notre Dame sponsored video. Notre Dame’s Hsueh-Chia Chang is leading a research team that is refining technology for a handheld diagnostic device that identifies the DNA of bacteria and viruses that cause specific diseases. With this type of tool, medical professionals in even the most remote locations around the world will have critical information at their fingertips, enabling them to ease the suffering of their patients and save lives.

Pakistan Aid Groups Route Around US Military for Relief Web [Wired]
“What we’re about is galvanizing the ‘crisis crowd,’” Blanchard says. “People see what’s happening and connect with each other on the internet.” Among those efforts: A CrisisCamp in Silicon Valley recently started looking into how “ham radio information can be transmitted into a Ushahidi map.”

Social Media Play Key Role in Boulder Fire [Lost Remote]
A crowdsourced Google Map features updates from users of the fire area, burned homes, road closures and other reports. And ESRI has created a map that pulls in Flickr photos, tweets and YouTube videos. And Digital Globe has posted satellite photos on Flickr.

Twitter to the Rescue – Social Media’s Evolving Role in Disasters [Wingineering]
The large earthquake at Christchurch, New Zealand, the large wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, and the natural gas pipeline explosion and fire in San Bruno, California, each demonstrated the genuine value of social media in a disaster, and at least anecdotally, it seems the techniques used by Tweeters matured with each subsequent event.

Photo by Jason Watkins