#Tweet4DisasterRelief

New Technology, Old Concept

Communication in times of trouble has long been an obstacle for mankind, but it’s one puzzle that seems to become clearer as technology evolves. Over 2,000 years ago, China built the Great Wall to keep out Mongolian raiders, but it wasn’t until the Han Dynasty when we saw great strides in communication. The Chinese military had an incredible wall that reached far a wide, but no way for soldiers to warn troops of invaders. Beacon towers were constructed for constant communication from one area of the wall to the next when intruders arrived – using smoke signals during the day and fire during the night. Years later Paul Revere and the Continental Army would use a series of candle-lit lanterns to warn Minutemen of the British invasion.

A Step in the Right Direction

September 11, 2001 is a day that we will never forget, but one that we can learn from. Due to radio network incompatibilities, communication between the New York Fire and Police Departments came to a standstill, making it extremely difficult to respond to the disaster in lower Manhattan. Communication between first responders and officials have since been addressed in Congress who has allocated $2 billion toward new technology, but Edward Wyatt of the New York Times reports that the system will require up to $10 billion more before completion.

While there is no method to ensure 100% effective communication before, during and after any disaster, we should utilize the technology available to us today. In a recent report from Fandom Marketing, 74% of adults online use social networks and 91% say they use social media during a live event. An impressive 50% of Facebook users report sharing and re-sharing news stories. And three out of ten adults access news while on Facebook. With such a large footprint online, it just makes sense to use the tool to help disaster communications when they arise.

Where Americans Get Their News
*Stats Courtesy of American Press Institute

The Future is Clear

News outlets can now use social media On Behalf Of technology to quickly broadcast important and urgent news to an exponential number of ears and eyes. National and local news stations can send out social media posts about weather warnings or crisis alerts on behalf of their news reporters who have a large online following and have opted-in to participate in the digital emergency service network.

The same process can be established after the disaster to help raise money for relief funds. And these alerts don’t have to be limited to reporters and employees: anyone could sign up to have these posts go out on their social networks on their behalf.

Jimmy Fallon
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Example

In the days following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon shared a number of ways to help the affected people by asking his viewers to text 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Every act of generosity helps in disasters like Nepal, and now there’s a way to share news quickly with not only Fallon’s TV viewers, but his audience online. With On Behalf Of marketing, Fallon’s team and audience can all be advocates for change, knowing the right message is being shared at the most critical moment.

Technology improvements happen daily as the tech industry and Congress work to pave the way for a safer future. We have come a long way from smoke signals and riding horseback through the night, and now with the use of current technology we can make certain when a disaster hits, the warning will reach the right people faster than the storm.

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