2. Volunteer to support emergency services

Joining crowdsourcing networks for emergency support purposes while a crisis is occurring can contribute efficiently to the efforts during an emergency. Regardless of where you are, if you have time and know the area affected by an emergency, or the language primarily used in the area, you can contribute to emergency response efforts via volunteering for crowdsourcing efforts.

Key steps: 
  • Search crowdsourcing initiatives being set up.
    • Join crowdsourcing networks pre-crisis, and develop sufficient know-how to contribute efficiently during and after a crisis.
  • Follow information provided by official emergency services to see if there are resources they need or to understand and learn about any initiatives that might be initiated.
  • Offer your help to those at the crisis site, especially if you have relevant skills
    • Provide necessary resources e.g., vehicle for transport, shelter facility.

After the Haiti earthquake Patrick Meijer started a live crisis map of Haiti, by mapping tweets through the Ushahidi platform. Friends joined his efforts and volunteers were recruited and trained by reaching out to friends at the Fletcher School.

Secondly, through crowdsourcing efforts, colleagues at OpenStreetMap could fill in the gaps in the Google Map of Haiti and produce a very detailed map to address increasing mapping problems. In addition, several individuals and organizations helped set up an international SMS number to receive further reports. After which volunteers were requested for  translating messages written in Haitian Creole and geo-locating them.

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