In the wake of flooding and severe weather across the country this week, social networking giant Facebook has launched what it is calling a ‘disaster response guide’ for Kiwi community groups and civil defence services during a natural disaster.
“Facebook can be a useful tool to help organisations, governments and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters,” the network says on the guide’s Facebook page.
It says the guide aims to share useful tips and examples of best practises to help people most effectively use Facebook before, during and after a disaster.
The guide includes advice for response and relief organisations, first responders and government agencies as well as tips for individuals and communities.
"We have learnt a lot from emergency response organisations, community groups and others in terms of how they have used Facebook as part of their disaster response," explains Mia Garlick, head of policy Facebook New Zealand.
"We want to help everyone get more out of Facebook during difficult times when faced with an emergency, which is why we have collated the Prepare & Respond Guide with best practice examples and tips,” she says.
Facebook says many people turn to Facebook to check on family and friends during natural disasters, which can happen at any time. The network is a way people can get updates and look for information about how to help.
“Whether to help rally people around events, gather and disseminate timely information or share important updates from first responders, we want to make such communication easier and so the guide highlights the best tools and tips for using Facebook to achieve this."
The Prepare & Respond How-to Guides are available for New Zealand, Australia, Japan, India and the United States.