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Digital Volunteers Support Disaster Recovery Efforts!

The usage of “digital volunteers” during disasters is growing in popularity, allowing volunteers with computer and information skills to participate from outside the affected region in supporting disaster response and recovery. One example of this effort is CrisisCamps, which bring together volunteers in information management, and web design and coding, to work on projects identified by federal and state agencies in response to specific events. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there are CrisisCamps occurring in various locations, including San Francisco. Find out if your area is hosting a CrisisCamp and how to volunteer! Virtual Operations Support Groups, also known as Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOST), are groups that make use of technology and social media tools to provide support to those at the scene of a disaster. VOSTs are activated to perform specific functions in support of affected organizations and jurisdictions. The web site includes a list of active teams in the US. The Standby Task Force is an international digital volunteer platform that uses an open source model for digital volunteering, with a specific focus on crisis mapping. The Red Cross Disaster Digital Volunteer training program includes the use of Radian6 Engagement Console software, and other necessary online platforms to monitor social media and news sources, in order to assist the Red Cross in its response efforts.

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