Disaster Recovery with Google Person Finder
Google has launched a new web application to help people search for friends and relatives affected by a disaster. A disaster is a chaotic and stressful time and finding the whereabouts and status of loved ones is a significant contribution to the stress of this time. The app itself is an open source tool that is open to contributions from anyone and can be accessed by anyone. The app was initially developed by Google in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to help those affected connect with loved ones. The app works by accepting data from multiple missing person registries in a common format and then searching through all of the data. During a disaster, having this tool to help locate friends and family can be invaluable.
Connected in Crisis
Google Person Finder is powered by people. It is the individuals who use the application who keep it up to date with the latest data records. There is even a subscription option for updates on specific persons or people. Google Person Finder is designed to stay up for a limited amount of time until the immediate crisis has passed and other forms of communication are available to better serve the needs of those affected by a disaster. When a record is created, an expiration date must be specified. This is done to balance availability of personal information during a crisis with personal privacy.
If you are concerned about maintaining contact with loved ones in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, using Google Person Finder can be a great way to ensure that you can locate them. The app can be accessed through the Crisis Response page on Google’s site, which also includes power outage info, shelter information, road conditions, and satellite photos. Staying up to date on the resources available during and after a disaster is extremely important and can make a difference in the efficiency of your recovery. Getting info on locating loved ones and finding the resources you need are the two most important parts of disaster recovery. Fortunately, there are an abundance of web apps that enable you to locate the nearest shelters and other resources. The Google Person Finder app is just one of the latest installations of these specialized disaster apps.