Kerala disaster management and donation efforts: Through Facebook

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The Facebook community activated Safety Check  on Thursday, August 09, 2018 allowing people to let their friends and family know they are safe. Following Safety Check, people were able to access additional crisis tools, such as Community Help and the Crisis Donate Button.  The Community Help tool within Crisis Response allows people to offer and ask for help during a crisis. To date, there have been more than 1,300 posts from people in the affected area asking and offering for things like shelter, food, water, transportation and volunteer work.  The community is also using Facebook to ask for help. We’ve seen people use Facebook Live to ask for help, including a man left stranded by the floods who went live on Facebook neck-deep in rising waters, asking to be rescued after he was unable to reach authorities. More than 1,200 people have used Facebook’s Community Help to ask for and request help — the most popular areas where people are asking for help include food, water, transportation and shelter.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and relevant NGOs are using Facebook disaster maps to mobilise rescue and support efforts. Disaster Maps have been prepared for Kerala in  partnership with SEEDS India; these maps will track people’s movement and will demarcate between the affected (flood-hit) and safe zones. This are coming in handy for the government to identify places, where rescue and relief is required.

Also, 487 people have donated using the Crisis Donate Button. Donations will go through Global Giving who will quickly send funds to local organizations that are best-suited to drive relief and recovery efforts.  We’ve also seen people across the Facebook community take to Groups, Live video and Pages and create fundraisers to mobilize support and help those impacted most. Of note, two men from Chicago created a Facebook fundraiser and raised more than $1 million for relief efforts.

Says the fundraiser creator, Arun Nella: “The state of Kerala in India, with its nick name “God’s Own Country”, is currently under a state of emergency due to a wide spread flood. Please contribute even the smallest possible amount and we will personally make sure that 100% of it gets to the State’s Disaster Relief Fund.”

People are creating Facebook Groups, like Kerala Flood Relief (4,100 members) to help facilitate communication and relief to victims, such as coordinating transportation and medical attention and Flood Technology Support Kerala 2018 (653 members), a group of volunteer IT professionals who are gathering information about people who need to be rescued and sharing it with emergency officials. The community is  taking to Facebook Pages like Kerala Floods 2018 (12,114 followers), a crowdsourced, consolidated place for updates that have popped up all over the world and Healthcare Online (449 followers), a page created by doctors who are offering medical tips to those affected by the floods.

Events such as Kerala Flood Relief Aid Collection – Lamakaan, have been started to help collect relief materials to be donated to camps. FB India page post with over 212,107,237 following is prompting people to donate through Goonj or Chief Ministers Relief fund  https://www.facebook.com/FacebookIndia/

Matching the community’s spirit and adding strength to their efforts, Facebook is donating $250,000 to the Community Resilience Fund for GOONJ, an  NGO that is leading relief and recovery efforts in the impacted localities.

Facebook is the largest community of volunteers, donors, and activists coming together to make the world a better place. We will continue to monitor and assess needs in the region. Together, the Facebook community is championing humanity and helping those in distress