(NBC News) – When tornados struck the South and Midwest earlier this month the Red Cross was ready to roll out its new Digital Operations Center.
The Red Cross was monitoring Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, looking to see what people in the affected areas were saying.
“We saw a lot of people who were looking for lost loved ones or checking in to state they were okay,” states Laura Howe.
“As things are happening they may not know what is happening around them because they are hunkered down in their basement,” adds Gloria Huang.
As it turns out many were hunkered down with the world wide web through their mobile devices.
That’s what gave the Red Cross access to those in the storm’s path, to dole out instantaneous advice and what they call “digital hugs”.
“Offer some quick and helpful tips about what they needed to do to keep themselves safe during the tornados,” Howe explains.
“We can see them on-line and just extend a hand and state ‘Hey, here is how you can get help if you need it and we are here for you. So, here is our digital hug to you,” states Huang.
The Red Cross is the first humanitarian relief bureau to turn to social-media monitoring to offer help even as a disaster is occurring.
source : www.wltz.com
Submited at Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 10:00 am on Uncategorized by Alicia
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