by Izabela Lundberg, Featured Contributor
AS WE ALL KNOW; the world of technology, especially social media, has moved forward in great strides in last several decades, while leadership has had to play catch-up.
Considering the importance of today’s technology and how ubiquitous it is in our daily lives, the wide range of social media platforms can be powerful tools to help us in the moments during and in the immediate aftermath when disaster strikes. We now have the capacity to be informed, learn the whereabouts of friends and family, and help others in their time of need.
Reflecting on the events that have occurred in past several weeks around the globe, most recently the earthquake in Nepal, it is hard not to be moved to take action.
It is heart wrenching to see so many people trapped beneath collapsed structures or run down by avalanches. The high number of tourists in some regions makes it particularly hard to know where people are unless others know their exact locations. For instance, so many people are declared missing in Nepal that is makes rescue efforts extremely difficult in the moment of the natural disaster of this magnitude.
Four key things Social Media can help us do when natural disasters occur:
- Informing Loved Ones that You’re Safe – The wide range of social media platforms, allows you to do that almost instantly. For example there is Facebook’s “Safety Check” for local and international travelers to check in and share their whereabouts with their loved ones. This is such a powerful tool to keep in mind! What an instant relief that is for everyone involved – from rescue teams to embassies and your loved ones.
- Sending Humanitarian Aid – This is a time when we need to dig deep and take action to donate and support people in need. This is the time to reflect and see how blessed and lucky we are to be safe at home and to be able to go about our own business as usual. The New York Times has provided a comprehensive list of organizations that you can select instantly and offer support during the times of need. This is the worst devastation in this region in last 80 years. Needs are so high and with support by many of us around the world – we can make significant difference together.
- Updating with Social Media News – if you are in the middle of the events in Nepal; blogging, video graphing, photographing, or tweeting is a powerful way to let rest of the world what is going on ASAP so that necessary steps can take place. In times like this every minute counts – leadership needs more then ever to act instead of waiting to react!
Volunteering Your Expertise or Time- If you can, help with the rescue mission directly (on the grounds) with your expertise in post disaster intervention, or indirectly (in your local community). If you are not able to provide monetary donation, giving your time or donating supplies such us tents and blankets, or whatever you can, it can make a significant difference to people of Nepal.