Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Text, Call, Tweet or Google – How to Communicate After Disaster Strikes

By Rose Strong

In light of the recent tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon, we have learned there are different ways to get in contact with family and friends during disasters besides just calling. Although not all these methods are guaranteed to help you connect with your loved ones, technology since September 11th, 2001 has moved forward swiftly and an entire social media infrastructure was born. Our use of both technology and social media in our everyday lives has brought with it, a speedy way to connect in times of crisis.

I try not to be a Doomsday predictor, but I’d be a fool to think this was the last we’d see acts of terror on our home shores whether set by an angry energy from our own country or by extremist foreign forces.

Here are several links explaining how best to try and contact loved ones in the event of an emergency:

  • The Red Cross has a Safe and Well tool and with a few simple clicks and some information you can find out about a family member or let your family and friends know you’re okay.
  • Just as the bombings were becoming breaking news, Google put out its Person Finder which is similar to the Red Cross’s site.
  • Christina Bonnington’s article on Wired.com explains how to directly contact folks in the midst of disasters and explains that texting is a much better way to contact than calling, especially in the wake of the cell phone shut-down in the middle of the catastrophe in Boston.
Like many others, my heart goes out to the people of the city of Boston and my wish is for them to begin the process of healing and soon feel a sense of peace.

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