Tools & Platforms

Both private & non-profit technology sector entities have dedicated significant efforts to build services and platforms focused on disaster response or recovery. While some of these are not specific to emergency management, they may provide advanced functionality that would not typically be used by the general public. In addition to providing useful crisis services, many organizations have dedicated staff or volunteers to assist emergency managers leverage their services during a disaster. An overview of how these services work, how to access them, and how to connect with their teams can be found here.

People use many social media and crowdsourcing platforms daily to share information, connect with friends, and make their work and life easier. The primary functionality of these tools may not be for emergency management but they can provide important functionality during a crisis. In some cases these platforms may contain important information from disaster survivors that can assist emergency managers in assigning resources and understanding where the greatest need is within their jurisdiction. These widely used public platforms can be leveraged by emergency management both in steady-state and disaster response through capabilities like preparedness messaging, public information and warning, and situational awareness. This page contains tips for emergency managers in adapting these platforms to support their mission.

In each disaster, many organizations develop purpose-built templates, applications, and tools to assist in leveraging the crowd as part of the overall relief effort. In most cases, these resources are open-sourced and are available to use for future disasters without having to start from scratch. Other commercially and publicly available data sources and applications can be used to support, analyze, and organize crowdsourcing efforts. This page serves as a repository of helpful resources for emergency managers, digital volunteer networks, and others working to leverage crowdsourcing for disaster response & recovery.