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July 29, 2014 | 0 comments

The U.S. Department of Defense's American Forces Press Service issued the following news: The Defense Department is using geospatial, or mapping, technology in a tool that will soon be available to assist countries and organizations dealing with the deadly consequences of hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters and humanitarian crises, experts from DoD and U.S. Southern Command said in a recent DoD News interview. The open-source software is called GeoSHAPE, which stands for geospatial tool for security, humanitarian assistance and partnership engagement. More at http://technews.tmcnet.com/news/2014/07/25/7939999.htm

July 29, 2014 | 0 comments

As Hurricane Arthur reminded us last week, hurricane season is underway. To help address the challenges that severe weather brings to our communities, today we are announcing a White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day, which will take place on July 29 at the White House. This event will bring together technologists, entrepreneurs, and members of the disaster response community to showcase tools that will make a tangible impact in the lives of survivors of large-scale emergencies. The White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative was first launched by the Administration in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to find the most effective ways technology can empower survivors, first responders, and local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal government with critical information and resources. More at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/07/announcing-white-house-innovat...

July 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Embed a “kill date” on your platform. If people are using that platform, this becomes a part of the community and culture. Alternatively, create a set of stages for the platform. For example, a crisis platform could have the following stages: initial situation awareness, crisis response, early recovery, recovery, and handover. Each of these stages have different information needs and different/progressively more restrictive rules that can be applied. Stages can have expected transition dates relative to each and informed by the unique situation needs. The most important lesson to learn is that there is no easy mandate. Each event will change the needs/time required to complete tasks, and is informed by engaging and communicating with all portions of the community (mappers, in-field deployments, affected populations, etc.). More at http://gwob.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/responsibleprojectlifecycles.pdf

July 16, 2014 | 0 comments

New cases and deaths from the Ebola virus outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, already the worst ever recorded for the disease, have surged by double-digit percentages in the past week, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday, with no sign of a slowdown. Alarmed Ivory Coast border authorities blocked hundreds of Ivorian refugees in Liberia from returning, news agencies reported. In its latest update, the W.H.O. said the number of suspect, probable and confirmed cases as of Saturday totaled 964, up about 14 percent from a week earlier. Deaths totaled 603, up about 16 percent from a week earlier. Half the deaths have been in Guinea. “This trend indicates that a high level of transmission of the Ebola virus continues to take place in the community,” the W.H.O. said in the update. “The respective ministries of health are working with W.H.O. and partners to step up outbreak containment measures.” More at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/world/africa/death-toll-from-ebola-sur....

July 16, 2014 | 0 comments

A powerful typhoon ripped across the Philippines on Wednesday, sending hundreds of thousands of coastal residents fleeing to evacuation centers and leaving several people dead, although officials said the toll could rise. Typhoon Rammasun cut a path of destruction from the country’s east to its northwest edge, with 90-mile-an-hour winds that tore roofs off homes, felled trees that blocked roads and cut electricity to at least 4.5 million people, officials said. It passed near the capital, Manila, but it appeared to have been spared the worst of its effects. More at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/world/asia/storm-leaves-trail-of-destr....

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