Blogs and Social Media used for Disaster Relief

This in from Brian Oberkirch, he’s using Social media to help others, doing my part to get the word out.

Friends of the Slidell Hurricane Damage Blog:

I’m sure that the Katrina Anniversary has you stirred up about many of the issues we all worked so hard on last year. I wanted to update you about two new disaster communication projects I’ve started. If they interest you, please help me promote them or ping me to get involved, send me ideas, etc. Your help was key last year to so many of my neighbors finding out what was going on in our little town. We couldn’t have done it without you, which is sort of the point of social media, isn’t it?

Fix the Gulf

As we saw with the Slidell Hurricane Damage Blog, blogs can be efficient tools for gathering current local news and matching resources with needs. There is still a mountain of work to do in all the communities along the coast, and this new project aims to 1) keep the spotlight on the continued disaster, 2) identify specific local needs and match those with people who want to provide help and 3) spotlight other bloggers, videobloggers, podcasters and locals using these tools to spread the word.

I’m looking for editors in each of the affected towns who want to help me aggregate information and outreach for their areas. In addition to the blog, we have a wiki we’ll use to let people post up their own links, requests, material, etc.


When a storm comes, we all spend the week asking each other what we’re going to do about it. “Are you leaving? Getting your supplies gathered to hunker down? Boarding up? Where you headed?” And so on. HurricaneMind takes that process and writes it large. The idea is to take the wisdom of crowds and apply it to hurricane prep. In addition to telling you what your neighbors are thinking, I’d like the app to map hotel room availability, gather current open evacuation routes, show you where plywood and other supplies are still available and aggregate news sources in one central spot.

I’ve started a blog and wiki to get a team together to help me build and launch this community service focused application here:

Love to hear from you if any of this strikes a chord. Don’t forget about us down here.

all best,