As an expert in HADR Radio Communications I truly understand the power of swift and clear communications. Humanity Road is one of the most inspiring and relevant non profits that exist in this sector today. Their obvious passion for helping people during the humanitarian disasters is equal only to the extraordinary results they achieve when they "deploy". The aggregated data that is collected via the various sources of social media they analyse helps guide the big organisations more efficiently in helping the affected people. However they also live and die by the adage that they must always keep the human in humanitarian relief, it may all be online but it always more about the people.
Humanity Road is a very special organization driven by very special people. I joined the team as a volunteer in the wake of the recent Nepal earthquake. Since then, I have been trained in various activities of the organization. I have realized that Humanity Road fills a critical gap between formal disaster response systems and real-time deployments. Using technology as an essential tool, Humanity Road has been of commendable service in situations where prompt interventions are needed. The work they do is outstanding, and the dedication of the team to an urgent need is remarkable.
As a Pacific Disaster Center representative I worked with Humanity Road (HR) staff in an exercise environment supporting a multination disaster response exercise. The HR staff were clearly experts in their field. PDC looks forward working with HR in the future on real or exercise environment disaster response.
Pacific Disaster Center
HR is working in an Industry Consortium called the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) to advance interoperability in our Rapid Response Incubator. These efforts hope someday to enable all parties involved in disasters, from victims to governments, front line to back office, even gamers and social networkers, to operate at their best in a secure-enough fashion to speed and lower the cost of response. Remember, we could all become the victims at any moment, if things go badly. HR is there, wherever there is.
Researchers have now started publishing data on the use of social media in disasters, and lawmakers and security experts have begun to assess how emergency management can best adapt. “The convergence of social networks and mobile has thrown the old response playbook out the window,” Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of the Internet Association, told the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications on June 4. The new playbook will not do away with the emergency broadcast system and other government efforts. Rather, it will incorporate new data from researchers, federal agencies and nonprofits that have begun to reveal the exact penetration of social media in disasters.
I believe Humanity Road will play a growing and ever more important role helping us all adapt to and leverage this trend as their ecosystem of partners and subscribers grows.
I lead a team of engineers in an international consortium (70 companies/government agencies across 17 countries) to implement secure interoperability (cybersecurity for cloud networks). Humanity Road has been extremely helpful in focusing our efforts for disaster response and helping us to understand use cases through their real world experiences.
I run a small non-for-profit tech company in Kathmandu. My team worked closely with Humanity Road after the earthquake in Nepal, particularly to operate quakemap.org that my team deployed right after the earthquake.
Humanity Road helped us to collect, verify, and process reports coming to the quakemap platform. Quakemap was used as one of the key information sources in Nepal's earthquake response and relief work. In addition, they created Situation Reports periodically based on the information available in quakemap.org and other sources. The report was used by different humanitarian agencies.
This was the first time I worked with Humanity Road directly. I found them open and highly professional. I am impressed with their practical advise and inspired by their passion in helping people in crisis. They were always accessible in Skype, emails etc. when I needed them. It was great experience working with them.
I run a website called crisiscleanup.org. After disaster, hundreds of voluntary organizations use it to coordinate relief efforts. However, the first couple of weeks after disaster, nobody knows who needs help. To help solve this problem, I partnered with Humanity Road and other organizations to open the free 1-800 number for survivors of disasters.
When it counted most, Humanity Road provided digital, remote volunteers to participate in a virtual phone bank. They were able answer phones from survivors in Texas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. They listened to their stories, and entered their work requests on crisiscleanup.org. I, and those survivors, are in debt to the service Humanity Road volunteers gave when it mattered most.
Humanity Road has an extraordinary responsibility assisting victims of disaster; however, what really goes unnoticed is the effort behind the scenes of their leadership who initiates mutual aid requests for additional volunteer teams to assist in whatever the disaster may be - whether a local or international level disaster. The challenges faced during times of disaster are dynamic yet the Humanity Road team and their past operational experience make for other volunteer organizations, like mine, to be able to contribute effectively and without confusion as instructions are clear and concise. Humanity Road and their volunteers use many of the collaborative tools on the market to their advantage and in doing so, it promotes a culture of information sharing among the teams. I am happy to have the opportunity to provide assistance to Humanity Road and those they serve.
I'm a medical doctor and I lead disaster response teams. I've led teams for the US Navy, FEMA, the Roddenberry Foundation, and others in Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, Port-au-Prince, Banda Aceh, Tacloban, Kathmandu, Izmit, and more. Over the past several years I've come to expect to see Humanity Road at work by the time I arrive in any event and that's been consistently so, including the most recent Nepalese Earthquake. Cat and her team were coordinating communications between dozens of organizations inside the first three days after the earthquake and they continued through my own ten-day team deployment there and back. I was able to ask her team questions while we prepared for deployment and get answers relayed from experts within hours. I was able to give her updates from our work in the foothills of the Himalayas and her team relayed our status and our needs to other teams within minutes. I now consider Humanity Road an integral asset for us during responses and I seek them out before I go anywhere. One of the most valuable attributes any of us can ask for is professional reliability and Humanity Road is there, every time. Speaking for my own teams, remembering far-away nights in the dark linked only by satellite phone, Cat and her volunteers have our deep thanks.