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Facebook with NDMA and SEEDS to improve India’s response to natural disasters

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Every year faces natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones and drought, and this time Traditional communication channels are often offline and it can take significant time and resources to understand where help is desperately needed.

And to handle this problem Facebook along with India’s National Disaster Response Agency, introducing several initiatives to help improve response and rebuild efforts to natural disasters in India. With this It Can help response organizations 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.

Facebook is making disaster maps data available to India’s National Disaster Management Authority, and Indian humanitarian organizations, such as SEEDS. Facebook is providing multiple types of maps during disaster response efforts, which will include aggregated location information people have chosen to share with Facebook.

 

 Location density maps shows where people are located before, during and after a disaster. We can compare this information to historical records, like population estimates based on satellite images. By understanding these patterns, response organizations can better predict where resources will be needed, gain insight into patterns of evacuation, or predict where traffic will be most congested. They are sharing this information with trusted organizations that have the capacity to act on the data and respect our privacy standards.

Also Facebook is holding its first, annual Disaster Response Summit in India with NDMA, which will bring together key humanitarian organisations and non-profits to help train and discuss how technology can be used to devise better responses to natural disasters and subsequent recovery. Policy makers, think tanks and Indian humanitarian organisations will attend the event. 

To make this initiative more impactful Facebook is supporting the pilot of the ASK-DIV (Disaster Information Volunteers) scheme where networks of trained volunteers provide supplementary information to inform government relief efforts through the Facebook Workplace platform. This program, which is being executed by SEEDS (a leading NGO working on disaster resilience), will establish a network of volunteers to provide real-time, first-hand information on disasters in their local communities. Facebook will provide support through the setup of Facebook Workplace for the volunteers to relay information, while the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will receive this information securely and coordinate.

 

Speaking on the collaboration, RK Jain, Member, National Disaster Management Authority said, “This collaboration between NDMA and Facebook derives its inspiration from PM’s 10 point agenda which clearly states “utilizing opportunities by social media and mobile technologies in the area of disaster management”. NDMA is proactively utilising social media for awareness generation. This is an important benchmark towards integrating social media with disaster response activities.”

 

Speaking on behalf of Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society, Manu Gupta, Director said, “Information on where people are located, what resources are needed, and who is safe, are all critical information that can help humanitarian organisations like us respond and recover from natural disasters. The disaster information volunteer network and Facebook’s Disaster Maps will play a key role in helping us get the right help to the right people at the right time.”

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