January 28, 2014 | 0 comments

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) has released the Verification Handbook, the first ever guide for using user-generated content (UGC) during humanitarian emergencies.

Whether it is debunking images of ‘street sharks’ during Hurricane Sandy, or determining the veracity of videos that depict human rights abuses, reporting the right information is critical in shaping responses from the public and relief workers as a crisis unfolds.

By providing the exact methods needed to validate information, photos and videos shared by the crowd, the Verification Handbook forms an essential component of any organisation’s disaster preparedness plan.

The Verification Handbook draws on the experiences of practitioners from some of the world’s premier news and aid organisations, including BBC, Storyful, The Guardian, ABC, Buzzfeed UK, NHK, Poynter Institute, Digital First Media, the Tow Center, GigaOM, the Qatar Foundation’s Computing Research Institute (QCRI), the Internews Center for Innovation & Learning, OpenStreetMap, Amnesty International, Circa, Meedan, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), WITNESS, the Dart Centre Europe, and Shabab Souria.

An online version of Verification Handbook is available for free at, and a PDF, Kindle and Print version will be released on 7 February. An Arabic version of the Handbook will also be released soon thereafter.


January 24, 2014 | 0 comments

This list of academic journals was put together by York University in Canada. It has over 125 journals spanning disaster & emergency management, business continuity, risk and hazards. It is uploaded to GoogleDocs format and can be accessed and edited:

January 8, 2014 | 0 comments

The World Disasters Report 2013 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies examines the profound impact of technological innovations on humanitarian action, how humanitarians employ technology in new and creative ways, and what risks and opportunities may emerge as a result of technological innovations.The responsible use of technology offers concrete ways to make humanitarian assistance more effective, efficient and accountable and can, in turn, directly reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience. Finding ways for advances in technology to serve the most vulnerable is a moral imperative; a responsibility, not a choice:

January 6, 2014 | 0 comments

Check out the TIDES WordPress Blog for the latest posts from the TIDES Team and thought leaders within the STAR-TIDES Network on sustainable development and disaster support. Have an insight you would like to share with the STAR-TIDES Network and beyond? Contact Amy Gorman (, 202-685-3916) for inquiries.

January 2, 2014 | 0 comments

As the Philippines starts to rise from the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon "Yolanda," it could benefit from adopting certain practices of one of Japan's prefectures where preparing for disasters is a constant endeavor involving the government and residents. For 37 years and counting, the Shizuoka prefecture has been bracing itself for an 8-magnitude earthquake and tsunami — predicted in 1976 to hit the Tokai region any time. It has a level of preparedness that Shizuoka officials believe could serve well other disaster-prone countries, such as the Philippines. When Yolanda made landfall in Leyte and Samar provinces, among the problems that compounded the death toll were the crippled communication lines, which hampered rescue and relief operations; the refusal of some to evacuate to safer ground; and the failure of residents and officials to understand or explain just how powerful a storm surge could be, which, as it turned out, was as destructive as a tsunami. More than 6,000 people are confirmed to have died from Yolanda. Hundreds of towns have been reduced to rubble. Reconstruction is expected to start soon, backed by a 100-billion-peso (U.S. $2.25 billion) fund: