In partnership with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) and Facebook, the Disaster Information Initiative Resources (DII) will develop a system to source information from volunteers on the ground to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster.
DII will serve as a platform to share near real-time and first-hand information on the extent of damage in their local communities. The information will be shared with State authorities to ensure timely decision making. During disasters, connectivity is affected if phone networks are jammed and roads are blocked.
On an average about eight to ten volunteers per district will be selected to be a part of the DII program. The identified volunteers will be trained to provide information to help emergency services make a quick assessment of the situation and act swiftly.
Facebook’s Safety Check feature is a simple and easy way to say you’re safe and check on others in a major disaster or crisis. “Marking yourself safe” can be useful during disasters,
Three major areas – access, speed and trend-based information, can aid near real-time decision making. The opportunity is also in using such technology to reach the unheard. 91% of disasters worldwide go silent, but with technology coming into play, remote and isolated communities too can have a voice.
Talking about the use of technology during disasters, Shelley Thakral, Head of Policy Programs, Facebook said “It is essential families and communities stay connected during times of crisis and rescue services have the information they need to act quickly and save lives.”
Talking about the need for reliable information during disasters, Dr. Sekhar Kuriakose, Member Secretary, KSDMA & Head (Scientist), State Emergency Operations Centre said, “Open Data is the future and moreover open access to the data empowers the society in its resilience.”
Dr. Manu Gupta, Co-Founder, SEEDS said “In the changing face of disasters that we are seeing around us, reliable local information which is communicated both ways becomes an important aid to reduce disaster risks and also in response to disasters.”
A State Workshop on Disaster Information Initiative Resources (DII) organized recently.