FB to help Govt reach disaster affected people quickly

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New Delhi, Nov 9 (UNI) The Facebook, one of the most popular social mediaplatforms, has joined hands with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for instant communication with the affected communities in times of crisis.

India is prone to natural disasters like flood, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones and droughts. During and after these crises, response organisations need accurate information to help communities response, recover and rebuild. Traditional communication channels are often offline and it can take significant time and resources to understand where help is desperately needed.

Facebook is making “Disaster Maps” with the data available to India’s NDMA, and Indian humanitarian organisations. Disaster Maps, which was introduced globally in June, uses aggregated, de-identified Facebook data to help organisations address the critical gap in information they often face when responding to natural disasters. Facebook is providing multiple types of maps during disaster response efforts, which will include aggregated location information people have chosen to share with this site.

Similarly, the “Movement Maps” will illustrate patterns of movement between different neighborhoods or cities over a period of several hours during the crisis period. By understanding these patterns, response organisations can better predict where resources will be needed, gain insight into patterns of evacuation, or predict where traffic will be most congested.

Safety Check maps are based on where a community on the Facebook uses sefycheck notify their friends and family that they are safe during a disaster. ” We are using this de-identified data in aggregate to show where more or fewer people check in safe, which may help organizations understand where people are most vulnerable and where help is needed.

We are sharing this information with trusted organisations that have the capacity to act on the data and respect our privacy standards”, said Ritesh Mehta of Facebook.
Facebook will now help the response organisations to paint a more complete picture of where affected people are located so they can determine where resources ,like food, water and medical supplies, are needed and where people are out of harm’s way.
It is also supporting the pilot of the Disaster Information Volunteers(DIV) scheme where a network of trained volunteers provide supplementary information to inform government relief efforts through the Facebook Workplace platform.

Being executed by SEEDS (a leading NGO working on disaster resilience), this programme will establish a network of volunteers to provide real-time, first-hand information on disasters in their local communities. The volunteers will be mobilised, trained and connected through existing networks of local and credible civil society organizations as well as willing individuals from public agencies. This is being executed in two disaster prone states – Assam and Uttarakhand as a pilot project. Facebook will provide support through the setup of Facebook Workplace for the volunteers to relay information, while the NDMA will receive this information securely and coordinate.

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