Eric Holdeman, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Consultant in the US, is proposing the use of a Disaster Wiki. It is seen as the next step in emergency management is to establish a platform for the use of social media to communicate with citizens and organisations in a two-way and multi-dimensional format.
In the article, Disaster Wiki: Get Ready NOW to Harness Social Media!, published by Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), Holdeman explained, “At the start of an emergency or disaster it is difficult to determine what is actually happening. Where are events occurring, what damages are being inflicted and what are the greatest needs for the community response? What a Wiki can access is a network of thousands of remote sensors capable of reporting and documenting damages as they are occurring. These instruments are handheld, geo-locatable devices that have audio, picture and video capabilities – they are called cell phones.”
Holdeman continued, “With a Wiki there can be scores if not hundreds of reports coming in on a single point incident, or across a broader regional disaster. One of the beauties of this reporting is that these individual reports can be automatically posted to a map that will rapidly give first responders and emergency managers an inkling of what is happening, where there are needs and the scope of what is going on.”
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Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern. email@example.com