November 25, 2013 | 0 comments

From Patrick Meier's iRevolution blog: The “Radio + SMS + Computing” project is firmly grounded in GSMA’s official Code of Conduct for the use of SMS in Disaster Response. I have also drawn on the Bellagio Big Data Principles when writing up the in’s and out’s of this initiative with Anahi. The project is first and foremost a radio-based initiative that seeks to answer the information needs of disaster-affected communities. The project: Local radio stations in the Philippines would create and broadcast radio programs inviting local communities to serve as “community journalists” to describe how the Typhoon has impacted their communities. The radio stations would provide a free SMS short-code and invite said communities to text in their observations. Each radio station would include in their broadcast a unique 2-letter identifier and would ask those texting in to start their SMS with that identifier. They would also emphasize that text messages should not include any Personal Identifying Information (PII) and no location information either. Those messages that do include PII would be deleted:!

November 22, 2013 | 0 comments

Last month, National Defense University hosted NIEM in November a day-long live and virtual workshop for the entire NIEM community. What's NIEM? The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is an information exchange framework consisting of organizations across all levels of government (federal, state, local and tribal) and the private sector. The purpose is to share information related to safety, disaster management, intelligence, homeland security, etc. This past March, the Defense Department signed a memo to adopt NIEM as the DoD-wide system for information sharing. This has potential to improve information sharing across DoD and with mission partners.

During the event, TIDES' David Becker participated in the Domain Lightning Round and briefed participants on the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL). We plan to work more closely with NIEM especially on efforts like HXL, an initiative to improve data exchange between US and UN organizations working in disaster and emergency response.

For more info on HXL see: To watch the NIEM in November event see:

November 22, 2013 | 0 comments

On 16 November TIDES exhibited at the Resilience in Your Neighborhood event at the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C. Our display focused on low-cost, low-tech solutions for emergency preparedness. The event featured disaster relief experts and interactive displays from the American Red Cross, Shelterbox and the National Academy of Sciences. We had a great time speaking with students and families about how TIDES approaches can support community resilience. We also connected with a Lego League group from Hunters Woods Elementary School in Reston, VA. The students are currently working on a kinetic watch that converts body heat and energy into power. Did I mention they are in 5th grade!! We were SO impressed by the group that we invited them to NDU to present their project. The Resilience in Your a Neighborhood event was part of the Koshland’s new community resilience programming. Back in October the TIDES team participated in the museum’s Extreme Event Challenge, an interactive group game which focused on a real-world disaster scenario. A special thanks to the Koshland for including us in their event!

November 22, 2013 | 0 comments

This chart shows major donations to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, by source (in million U.S. dollars).

China has been widely criticised for its disappointing response to the disaster in the Philippines. China initially pledged a mere $100,000 in humanitarian support for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan before raising this to $1.6 million.

This pales in comparison to donations from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and others. Swedish furniture company Ikea has even donated more aid than China, pledging $2.7 million.

November 21, 2013 | 0 comments

TIDES Project has been promoting the use of alternative/renewable fuels in disaster zones since 2007. This NPS article highlights the need to integrate such technologies with disaster response efforts: