The internet has made it possible for the ordinary person to respond generously and quickly to disasters that hit others – whether near and far. The Haiti disaster set a new standard for what could be achieved – not just by the quick response teams that train for these type of events and are ever ready to move into disaster zones, but by the ordinary person who can now immediately respond by providing the much needed financial support that such areas need.
And we – the ordinary people and companies that have only watched mutely from afar in the past! We have learned how we can use social media for our own form of quick response. This time companies like Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple have all quickly provided communications or donation channels to assist people in the Japanese crisis.
The Japanese Google team were working on Google’s Crisis Response page within minutes of the quake! Within hours Google had its Person Finder Web site set up! Helping people to locate their missing loved ones or post data on those who had been found is a huge help to the recovery effort.
Many companies are pointing people to the Red Cross for donations. iPhone users can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Apple is also allowing users to donate to the Red Cross using their iTunes accounts. They assure us that 100% of the donation goes to the Red Cross. You will have to update your iTunes software to iTunes 10 (but you’ve already done that, right?) and then just follow the [iTunes link] to donate between $5 and $200 to the effort.