On Sunday night, a massive tornado tore through the Missouri town of Joplin, destroying thousands of homes and businesses and killing more than 100 people. In April, tornados wrecked havoc throughout the South, killing more than 300 people and leaving thousands injured, homeless and without power or clean water. In March, the strongest earthquake ever recorded it its history shook Japan. All of these natural disasters have reinforced the power of technology and social media.
Technology has made it much easier to assemble a response to natural disasters; you can use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word and places to donate and how to help. Mashable.com put together a list of ways you can help using the power of technology:
- In response to the April tornadoes in the South, Patty Buillon started a Facebook page containing found pictures and items that were blown by the tornadoes. If you live near a disaster area and find photos, mementos, scan them or take photos of them and post them to a Facebook page. She created one specifically for the April 27th tornadoes: “Pictures and Documents Found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes”. For the Joplin, MO tornado: “Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery”.
- Relief Spark, a nonprofit focused on remodeling schools, turned its Twitter feed into a resource of information. Tweets direct first responders to meeting places and to posting what shelters have opened their doors.
- OzarksFirst.com, put together a resource with help hotlines, phone numbers and web pages for volunteers and victims.
For more ways to help, click here.