digital disaster responders

even when you're away from the scene of a calamity, there are many ways to help. one can provide basic goods such as canned goods and clothes to relief repacking centers, or one can give his or her time in doing manual work in these centers. if that's still not possible, e.g., you're stuck inside a hospital in manila like me, on round-the-clock duty while strong typhoon winds bear down on several provinces down south, technology can bring you closer to relief operations than you might think possible.

enter, a growing community of disaster reponders in the digital age. tapped by the UN humanitarian office for help during typhoon haiyan (pagasa: yolanda), it once again opened its doors to netizens for typhoon hagupit (pagasa: ruby).

the platform of is pretty simple: digital volunteers determine if the tweet / image is relevant to humanitarian response. classification is verified by getting at least 5 people to classify each tweet or image. the output is then relayed to humanitarian organizations thru the united nations office for the coordination of human affairs (OCHA).

this year's typhoon project aims to replicate the usefulness of last year's haiyan efforts. already the ongoing project has generated encouraging numbers, but it still needs more volunteers to segregate the tweets and images.

so, if you want to become a digital volunteer, please help us in this project. visit for more information.