Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Southern California Fires

I've been following the wildfires in Southern California and learned that has been doing a good job using two different Internet resources, Twitter and Google Map:

Seems like a good idea to sign up for a Twitter account now just in case it's difficult to do that by cell phone later. Once you've got a Twitter account, then you can sign up for alerts from relevant Twitter pages. Go directly to the KPBS link to their own Twitter page to see an example of the kinds of messages that could potentially be sent to your cell phone if you signed up to a similar web page.

I think how KPBS used the tools of Google Map is also very good. They used different icons that were easy to see, and also sketched out areas estimated to be affected by certain fires in San Diego County. (Thanks to Cheryl Heppner of NVRC for emailing me about KPBS's Google map.)

With over 900,000 people having been evacuated, obviously there are thousands of deaf and hard of hearing people who needed to know how to get access to information like this. Hopefully we can all learn from disasters like this to improve the dissemination of information for other disasters and come up with a systematic way of organizing these information resources so we don't have to spend hours looking all over the Internet for them.

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