How social media is saving lives. The use of social media and digital disaster responders, volunteers online data mining social media for emergency management. Highlights of major program activities around the world.
Program Highlights 2015
Disaster Response – Volunteers responded to 125 events. In January volunteers worked Winter Storm #Juno nicknamed “Icezilla” which impacted millions of people. We responded to a fire in Adelaide Hills, Australia and were activated to support their community information Facebook page. In March volunteers contributed nearly 400 hours in response to #TCPam in #Vanuatu. In April the team supported Kathmandu Living Labs in one of the most successful crowdmap disaster responses in response to the Nepal Earthquake. In August, we produced 6 situation reports for FEMA following Typhoon Soudelor that hit the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. We also produced another situation report for FEMA following the South Carolina floods in October as well as a DAFN Resource Guide which we shared with FEMA and SCVOAD. Following a fire in Lake County, CA in September, we were activated to provide social media analysis for 3 days for the Lake County Office of Emergency Services.
Disaster Preparedness – Disaster Preparedness – In 2015 we marked our 5th year anniversary and signed an MOU in support of the launch of the FEMA Tech Corps and participated in the 22 Nation Multinational Communications Interoperability Exercise in the Philippines. We supported the national Preparathon campaign as well as the DC regional “End the Awkward” campaign for vulnerable populations. In 2015, our twitter followers passed the 8,000 mark. In July we published our “Guide to Social Media and Emergency Management Exercise Planning”. In 2015 in recognition for our achievements we were honored to receive Honorable Mention for 2015 Citizens Corps “Preparing the whole community” Award
Process Improvement – In 2015 we were rated a top nonprofit by Guidestar and recognized in the top 5 percent of charities listed in Guidestar with a Gold Exchange Participant rating. We continued our commitment to process improvement through support of the Department of Homeland Security Virtual Social Media Working Group (DHS VSMWG). One of the busiest responses in 2015 was our digital deployment for the Nepal earthquake. We continued our development support of tools to help improve disaster response. Scanigo was used to aggregate and filter tweets in order to provide first responders and strategic partners with situational information. Scanigo filtered 1.2 million Nepal related tweets to just 4,638, representing a 99.3% reduction which significantly reduced human analysis required. A total of 150 reports of urgent needs were identified by Humanity Road volunteers. We also tested a new tool Geotag-X Project for the United Nations where volunteers analyzed photos taken during disasters such as the Somali Drought.
Program Highlights 2014
Disaster Response – Volunteers responded to 167 events with 57 events impacting 31 states in the USA and 109 events impacting more than 44 countries in six of the seven continents. In May we were activated by UNOCHA to support information needs after the strongest rains in more than a century caused historic flooding in the Balkans. In December, after Typhoon Hagupit devastated areas in the Philippines, Humanity Road activated to support the public, military and UNOCHA with situation reports, a 3W report and a special mapping project with GISCorps. A total of 18 volunteers contributed 400 hours of service and supplied information that resulted in relief aid being provided to a community of 40,000 people in Santa Rita.
Disaster Preparedness – For the third consecutive year, Humanity Road collaborated with U.S. Pacific Command in support of Pacific Endeavor, The Multinational Communications Interoperability Exercise (MCIP). Pacific Endeavor is an exercise that includes over 20 Pacific Basin nations and focuses on enabling greater compatibility of communication systems for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The 2014 scenario was to prepare for a potential catastrophic earthquake if it struck Kathmandu, Nepal. Humanity Road was honored to be invited to participate in the “white cell” and delivered a panel talk on social media during disasters. We facilitated the creation of an Information Telecommunications Cluster (ITC) Meeting, bringing our field experience to the table for process improvement. An active disaster was in progress in Nepal and Humanity Road provided information support that facilitated the delivery of shelter to the Kunithari Village in western Nepal.
“I met with Ms. Cat Graham, Vice President, during the Pacific Endeavor… I feel honored working with her as she is always ready to assist people affected by disasters and quite supportive, encouraging and motivating. I would love to keep working with her and Humanity Road in coming day”. Rajendra
Process Improvement – Humanity Road in collaboration with Statistics without Borders, published a guide to help emergency managers understand social media analytics. Emergency Management is a mature field of study, but Social Media Analytics is still in its infancy and navigating this field requires an understanding of the opportunities it presents. The publication is a helpful tool for emergency managers and decisions makers when planning their SMEM response. The twenty page guide includes best practices for data handling, analysis, and management based on the tweets from the days surrounding the landfall of Typhoon Haiyan.
At the invitation of the Department of Homeland Security Virtual Social Media Working Group, Humanity Road participated in the Canada-USA Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE). This event was a test-and-evaluation experiment of non-traditional resources for emergency operations. Humanity Road volunteers assisted in simulating social media messages for the disaster exercise. CAUSE is a series of collaborative efforts that uses scenarios to validate and improve multi-agency and cross-border coordination and collaboration
Program Highlights 2013
Disaster Response – Volunteers responded to 201 emerging events in 2013. We deployed staff onsite to support a local community in Colorado by request after a tornado outbreak. In November we were activated by request of five separate official response organizations after Super Typhoon Haiyan. More than 100 people were rescued in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan. And over 10,000 people received critical direct aid through our disaster response activities.
Disaster Preparedness – Participated in disaster preparedness exercise for a major USA port for a WMD. For the second consecutive year, participated in the Pacific Endeavor exercise. Collaborated on the creation of a Zombie theme based disaster preparedness exercise for New Zealand.
Process Improvement –
Recognized in the top 5 percent of charities listed in Guidestar with a Gold Exchange Participant rating. And for two years in a row has been named a Top Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits and in 2013 was recognized in the top 30 disaster aid nonprofits. Joined the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Secretariat of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) sub-Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET). We became a coordinator for the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) and co-chair for the Department of Homeland Security Virtual Social Media Working Group (DHS VSMWG)
Program Highlights 2012
Disaster Response – Volunteers contributed over 20,000 hours of service and responded to 312 emerging events in 2012. We deployed online to support MD state emergency management with monitoring social media after Super Storm Sandy. And by request of a local community deployed onsite communications services that supported 48,000 residents in New York. We relayed a request for rescue that saved 60 more people from flood waters in the Dominican Republic. We were named a top disaster response nonprofit by Great Nonprofits and recognized by Guidestar for transparency in financial reporting.
Disaster Preparedness – Participated in Pacific Endeavor – Multinational Communications Interoperability Program (MCIP) Exercise. Created and managed the largest social media crisis mapping exercise for RIMPAC. Participated in the first Humanitarian Aid / Disaster Response (HA/DR) Exercise for RIMPAC.
Process Improvement – Invited as a member of the Department of Homeland Security First Responders Communities of Practice as a member of the Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG). The mission ofthis group is to document lessons learned in theuse of social media for emergency management. Humanity Road was also invited to participate in the FEMA Innovation Team.
Program Highlights 2011
Disaster Response – Volunteers contributed more than 17,000 hours of service. Chicago – Relayed urgent needs to CERT team during Crisis Mapping response team effort after SNOMG blizzard. East Coast USA – Joint support for crisis mapping after Hurricane Irene. New Zealand – Conducted media monitoring training for largest online volunteer media monitoring team – Christ Church
Program Highlights 2010
Disaster Response – In our founding year volunteers responded to 72 events in 53 countries including events in 33 states and territories for the USA. Volunteers published the first online list of hospitals, where status was confirmed, and the first online reference of Creole First Aid instructions.
Disaster Preparedness – Collaborated and participated in the first social media exercise X24; participants included 12,500 people from 79 nations and 90 U.S. government, non-government organizations. Supported the first UNOCHA crisismapping exercise drill and supported the Great Shakeout 2010.
Process Improvement – Developed and launched the first all-digital social media emergency response team. Developed and launched the first digital volunteering code of conduct.
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