I am very concerned tonight for the people of Amatrice and the surrounding regions in Italy. I cannot think of what has happened to them as just another something that occurred on the opposite side of the planet. I prayed and thought all day, but I wanted to do more. So I tried to think of what else I could do to help in any way.
One of the things my people learned when we were hit by big earthquakes back in mid-April this year was the might of social media.
- Twitters and other instant text messengers were proven useful in finding and keeping alive with words of encouragement the survivors who were buried under rubbles.
- Facebook and other networking services aided in sharing information on where to go for shelter, food and water, and phone batteries, as well as the availability of different routes of transportation (on ground or by air, and maybe by water).
- Instagrams and other image-sharing platforms assisted in telling where rescue efforts were most needed and what exactly were required for most efficient rescues (types of specialists, tools and machines, emergency powers and utilities, etc.)
- Comments spaces of blogs and other personal and corporate sites were opened up for those trying to get in contact with families and friends to confirm one another’s safety.
- In addition, the smart phones on which these social media are used can act as emergency lights and alarms to indicate the whereabouts of those in need.
I do admit that there were issues to be resolved using social media in emergencies – namely, the accuracy and proper databasing of information. But at acute stages, I am certain that information should be gathered as widely as possible in any way possible to save as many lives as possible.
I am sharing the information I have with you in the hopes that it will find its way to help those who can still be saved.
Maybe you can take the information here and put it to good use?
Residents and rescuers alike, please stay safe and stay strong. We are all thinking of what we can do for you… help is on your way!