Technology and Crisis

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in ComLead

Technology and Crisis

The constant news of natural disasters these past few weeks may be getting tiring but an important thing to pull from these events is the incredible age that we live in in terms of technology and social media. We are alive at a time where reaching those impacted by these disasters is easier than ever before. Not only that, but we are also able to see the victims first hand in more personal ways than a news broadcast. You can scroll through Twitter or Facebook and find thousands of images of homes destroyed in the hurricanes that haven’t made it to local stations. And more importantly, those who are able to help can be notified this way. In some cases, victims had shared their locations or situations online and rescue volunteers were able to track them down that way.

Along with the overwhelmingly destructive hurricane season we have had this year, we have also witnessed massive wildfires in the western United States and monstrously powerful earthquakes in Mexico. One of which happened just yesterday afternoon and shook Mexico City in the middle of the day.

While not everyone can relate to the feeling of an earthquake or a hurricane, our ability to emphasize with the people impacted pushes us to help and to care. Google has a service called Google Person Finder where people can post names of survivors immediately after they are pulled from rubble and where families can notify others if they are missing someone. Facebook also has a feature called Facebook Safety Check that allows people to “mark themselves as safe” so that their friends and family can be notified if they are safe in impacted areas. The technology and advancements that allow these networks to work is something that we are incredibly lucky to have especially in this terrible season of events.

Devon Bradley, M.S. Communication & Leadership ’19


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