Yet another great post from idisaster 2.0! In today’s post from Kim Stephens, “Information Aid”: As important to disaster survivors as food, there were a number of great points made! One of my favorite terms in this post is the term “psychological first aid.” On my blog you’ve seen several examples of storm rotation path maps that show expected areas where tornado damage would be more likely (examples March 2, 2012 Henryville, IN tornado and the May 24, 2011 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma). These types of maps help to focus the response to the areas most impacted while communicating the regional impact and significance of the disaster. Additionally, the overwhelming nature of thousands of social media posts, 911 calls and requests for assistance demand a way to filter the information not only by severity, but by helping identify even the areas that haven’t reported impacts yet.
Also, this method of depicting impact beyond single properties helps to say, “you are not alone”. This is incredibly powerful, especially when followed up with “as a community, we’ll make it through.”
I can’t emphasize enough on the role of effective ways to filter and visualize information during the initial minutes and hours of a response effort. Those tools are essential to providing the needed “psychological first aid” in order to successfully respond and recover from the disaster.