Humanity Road has forever shaped the way the Coast Guard conducts disaster response operations and impacted my life much more personally. During Hurricane Harvey, I had the chance to work alongside the team from Humanity Road as we worked to collect “911 social media posts” from hurricane survivors. The Coast Guard prides itself in making sure no call goes unanswered, and with Harvey’s massive scale, we needed all hands on deck to make sure we lived up to this. Throughout the week-long deployment, we collected over 1000 search and rescue cases involving 5200+ survivors from Facebook and Twitter. Humanity Road does noble work, and people are alive today because of their efforts. On a more personal level, Humanity Road leaders Chris Thompson and Cat Graham became mentors and role models during the response efforts. The lessons I took away from their leadership will forever touch my life. I am eternally grateful.
When I was asked to write this review for Humanity Road, I felt flattered: working for this organisation is just like being part of a big family. As in a family, you may experience times when you can dedicate less energy to the other members. Nonetheless this is understood and fully accepted, and everyone maintains a welcoming attitude. This is so important for a volunteers-based organisation in which members can be, from time to time, more or less available.
As in a family, one can always learn from working with others and learning opportunities are offered on a regular basis. Humanity Road strives to maintain high levels of engagement through regular internal drills which also offer the opportunity for volunteers to practice and refresh their ability to monitor, select, verify and analyse information. Training is another critical component of the volunteers’ engagement: they consist of online trainings which sometimes are delivered on an ad-hoc and one-to-one basis to adapt to the specific availability and needs of a volunteer. Through this training, one can learn soft skills such as how to use internal communication systems, how to work collaboratively with others. In addition to this, the volunteer learns how to apply the tips to monitor information, geolocate data and combine information from multiple sources.
In doing so, Humanity Road make sure that its volunteers have always the knowledge and skills and feel comfortable to work in a fast-paced environment during response to disasters.
As for my personal experience, the work done with Humanity Road has helped a lot with my career progression. Having a PhD in Disaster Risk Reduction, I was keen on applying the theoretical knowledge gained from my studies into real disaster scenarios. Working at Humanity Road gave me the practical skills that helped to secure the position as Associate Researcher at a consultancy company specialised on examining social and legal aspects associated with disaster and security management. Also, I am soon due to start a traineeship at the Disaster Risk Management Unit of the European Commission, working on analysing crises of various nature through open source intelligence (OSINT). Despite the many commitments of my personal and professional life, I hope to be able to continue to collaborate with Humanity Road for a long time.
The leadership and volunteers at Humanity Road are top notch. I say this as both a previous volunteer and someone who professionally works in emergency responses. Humanity Road has a dynamic group of digital volunteers that are quick to respond to an emergency.
I believe Humanity Road is one of the best organizations I have worked with. They fill a critical gap with their work and have the best leadership an organization can have. I am very grateful for everything they taught me and how I became a better professional after volunteering with them.
First, I would like to comment in their area of work. I truly believe their reports on the assessment of urgent needs are an amazing asset for first responders and communities affected by disaster. They deliver critical lifesaving information that everyone should have access to in the aftermath of emergencies. Second, they deliver communication’s technology. A huge gap that needed attention, and an area where HR is highly valued. In both areas of work, I congratulate the level of professionalism they have reached after years of experience.
Regarding training provided for volunteers, I must say they have a relevant and practical curriculum. I learnt how to research urgent needs, reporting on disaster related matters, use of new technologies, humanitarian coordination, etc. Besides the formal training, their staff was kind enough to provide me with one-on-one mentoring on different topics. I consider that mentoring one of the best trainings I have ever received (Thank you Chris and Cat!).
I am so grateful that volunteering with Humanity Road helped me furthering up my career. Not only since I became technically strong in disaster work, but since I gained invaluable soft skills like team work, leadership, communication skills, volunteer management, etc. Cat and Chris also guided me regarding my future career and helped me get where I am now. I still consider them the best leaders and supervisors I ever had. Up to these day, I have a huge admiration and I hope to be as good leader as they are.
To finalize this review, I would like to say that after having experience working in mega disasters with dozens of organizations all over the world, I believe HR has a great future and I am sure it will make great contributions to the people affected by disasters.
Humanity Road is an inspiring organisation. I came across this organisation while studying Development and Emergency Practice. Being a volunteer with Humanity Road helped me better understand the role of social media in humanitarian response. Although my work with Humanity Road was brief, the skills I gained are still useful today in my humanitarian career. But what makes Humanity Road so special is the dedicated and passionate groupe of people.
Working with the team at Humanity Road was a fantastic experience! There are so many great things to say about my time with HR that it's hard to know where to start.
First, the positive and supportive culture that has been created at HR is exemplified by Chris and Cat in all that they do. They go above and beyond in helping their own team members as well as those impacted by a disaster. You couldn't ask for better, more committed people at the helm.
Second, team members are exposed to such a wide range of quality exercise experiences and disaster response actions. HR is involved in so much on an ongoing basis, seasoned digital responders and those who are new to the field of digital response will find purpose and satisfaction in their actions as part of the HR team. If you want to help, this is the place to be!
Finally, being part of HR has helped me become a better Emergency Manager. By participating in the exercises that HR has created, by becoming involved with international organizations and people around the world, and by being able to help others beyond the borders of my own province (British Columbia, Canada), I have a more mature view of what emergency response can mean, locally and beyond, than I ever would have without HR.
Thanks HR, for what you do!
As a volunteer it brings me joy to help Humanity Road. The way this team springs into action to help those who need help is simply amazing. Their training and exercises are like none I have ever attended. This work gives me purpose in life to help others. I didn't have much insight to the world outside of the US until volunteering for HR. I enjoy interacting with volunteers from around the world. Thank you Humanity Road for all you do in helping people sustain, survive, and reunite during and after a disaster.
This knowledgeable and well organized team is an asset to almost any team.
They brought a combination of gear and savvy that brought communications to Big Pine, re-connecting residents with their worried families elsewhere. They organized and provided space and support for FEMA so locals could easily register for aid.
Being self-sufficient meant that they were not a burden to their partners - in fact they hosted me and another partner in their RV, allowing us to focus on our missions.
I was happy to provide Logistics Support to Humanity Road, delivering essential items to their operation in Big Pine Key, FL after Hurricane Irma.
Most recently, they connected me with a specialized technical advisor who is now assisting us to plan an innovative radio communications system for partners working in the mountains of western Puerto Rico.
I look forward to working with Humanity Road in the future.
Just a brief note to let you know how hard and fast these folks work!! I arrived in Cudjoe Key FL 8 days after complete annihilation as a result of Irma. Before we knew it, the troops had arrived and set up internet connections! It was the first and only way to get communications out of our area.
In addition, I had the pleasure of meeting Christine Thompson. She very kind and took some time just to reassure me that it would be ok! So grateful these folks were there at Big Pine when I needed them!
Thank you, Heather
We are a small all volunteer NGO www.yachtaidglobal.org Humanity Road has been instrumental in helping us achieve our objectives. They are a first class ethical organization.
Thank you Humanity Road for helping us help others.
Captain Mark Drewelow
Founder, YachtAid Global
Review from Guidestar
Following Cyclone Debbie here in Australia we needed some quick intelligence on the extent of damage to cellular networks, which HR were able to provide quickly and painlessly. We are already using that data to help further build resilience in Australia. Without HR's support, this information would have been much more difficult for us to find. Also, the history of HR's situation reports provides an invaluable longitudinal data set on the impact of disasters on communications and other vital services.
Have had a brief time working with Humanity Road and must say the people are amazing. They very much care about the world and the events that affect others around the world. I have been very thankful to have met them and continue to work with them in many aspects. thank you for the great work all of you do.
Humanity Road (HR) is a unique not for profit organisation that remain steadfast and focused on what they are good at - 'closing the black hole of communication' by linking disaster affected communities to the emergency response organisations.
As a volunteer, i can attest to the fact that at Humanity Road, they matched words with action. In fact, i witnessed a moment where HR volunteers monitored three tropical storms, three hurricanes, two earthquakes and two disaster exercise within 48 hours.
HR volunteers are always eager to provide help, train volunteers and make a difference.
Humanity Road is one of the most inspiring and relevant non profits that I have worked with in recent times.
With a passion to help people during the disasters, the tools, support, the volunteers are always there providing reliable and accurate data & information.
A truly digital humanitarian organisation in spirit & grit making sure there is always someone to help!
I have worked with HumanityRoad for a number of years. During this time, I have managed a number of disasters and planned events.
Humanity Road has consistently been involved on a global scale while maintaining their interest in what happens locally.
Humanity Road is an excellent Non-Profit.
As a student , the ways in which I am being benefitted from being a part of this organization are:-
1) Practical and global exposure to what I am learning in class
2)Work at my convenience
3) Systematic training provided periodically or as per request
I chose to donate to Humanity Road because they are providing a service to the public for communications. This was one of the biggest gaps during Hurricane Katrina. Effective communications will help save lives. I always know I can rely on Humanity Road for the best information.
I reached out to Humanity Road on behalf of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management in NZ. We're engaging with them around capability building for our public information function and exercise planning and development. Cat has been wonderful, happy to share knowledge, answer questions and provide advice. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship in the future.
After Hurricane Sandy in NYC our team of designers had a chance to work with Humanity Road, who were in the midst of supporting the most vulnerable citizens in New York City. HR gave us invaluable information about the immediate needs of rescue workers in a crises. Our product development benefitted greatly. They have continued to support and help our efforts by connecting us to people in different countries that do first responder work. HR are organized, compassionate and up to date with communication strategies and needs for emergency workers.
Humanity Road is a dedicated non-profit with a global volunteer network. Their training, tools, and support are fantastic and the volunteers are vigilant in producing accurate and reliable information during times of disaster and crisis. With Humanity Road there will always be someone there to respond and help those in need!