Facebook tool helps charities find evacuees in need of help

A man tries to get his dog out of a flooded neighborhood in Lumberton, N. C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, in the wake of Hurricane Florence. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

RALEIGH, N. C. – When a disaster such as Hurricane Florence , when the emergency services need to figure out the problems, places where people need to be saved, other aid organisations provide long-term help you need to know where refugees fled to escape the danger.

A number of these charities from a disaster mapping tool recently developed by Facebook to help those in North Carolina. The tool provides anonymous data to show locations that the shedding of people and they get it. It follows the movements of groups, but not individuals.

A non-profit called Direct Relief, which provides medicine and supplies to the health centres that serve poor people, the data will be used to find out which vulnerable communities in the path of a hurricane, evacuating, and whether people are likely to go to new locations with a health center. The office can then reach centres in the new locations to help anticipate the medications that they need. Direct Relief serves approximately 100 health centers in the two Carolina’s and 1300 nationwide.

“We can implement lighting where people go, not necessarily where the people have left,” said Andrew Schroder, director of research and analysis for Direct Relief.

The humankind, which strives to connect people in need with assistance and resources when disaster strikes, make use of the cards to discover when people have no communication with the outside world.

Facebook has announced the initiative last year for organizations such as Direct Relief, American Red Cross, and the Net Hope. So far, charities have the cards in 100 disasters internationally, including the hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma, said Laurie McGorman, public policy research manager for Facebook.

While Facebook users may be individuals who ask for help, the lighting groups for more organized data. Facebook offers the information for free.

“We are hopeful that we are able to make a difference in how services are delivered and hopefully save lives,” McGorman said.

Puerto Rico is the experience of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has highlighted the urgency of post-disaster medical care.

After a first round of 64 Maria-related deaths, the storm’s death toll was eventually estimated at nearly 3,000. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “the interruption of medical care is the primary cause” of the deaths in the months after the hurricane hit.

Not all of the victims of the hurricane “hit in the head by a piece of dirt,” said Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive officer of Direct Relief. Much of the Immediate Relief of medication for patients with diabetes, hypertension and asthma, and disasters can exacerbate their health problems, ” he said.

The Facebook mapping provides a much more complete picture than we have ever had,” he said.

But both he and Kat Graham, chief operating officer and co-founder of Humanity Road, stressed that the disaster cards as a starting point, but not if the only information that they use to make decisions about where help is needed.

It helps us to listen to the silence,” Graham said. “It gives us a live view of the places where the public may need help with their communication.”

During Hurricane Florence, Direct Relief officials learned of the Facebook tool that more and more people are moving to the edges of the big cities than the cities themselves. “We would be wise to direct attention in the edge, which is more likely where people stay, than those in the direct center of Charlotte,” Schroeder said.

When Hurricane Harvey soaked Houston for days with up to 60 inches of rain, Direct Relief found that many had evacuated to San Antonio and Austin, Tighe said. That information may Direct the Lighting to achieve community health centers fast to question whether they were received from patients and what support they need.


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