I am thankful for these times that people also care about others because we don’t just talk about technology for work but how we could use technology to help ourselves amidst calamities. The past weekend was terrible in the Philippines but people from here and abroad all cared to share something with us to help my fellow Filipinos. I was one of the luckier ones that wasn’t badly affected by Typhoon Ketsana. Others were flooded and their homes were swept away by the water, and there are those who were able to leave their homes but everything inside was carried by the water or damaged by the water.
Locally, a group of Linux advocates set up Sahana, a collection of web based disaster management applications that provides solutions to large-scale humanitarian coordination and collaboration in disaster situation and its aftermath. It’s a good start for us to have a centralized area for any possible communication when disaster strikes. There are also others who have been tweeting and plurking the latest news. The updates were related to volunteer work, how to give relief goods, as well as tips on how to check on your car when it gets flooded to info on which shop offers services to laptops which needed to be serviced/recovered after the flood. I also received messages from friends in other countries and amidst the time differences it is heart-warming to receive messages from those who care.
Personally, I am glad that technology is not only used to improve one’s work. It is also being used to effectively disseminate information needed. This way, we’re able to not just be updated about where the storm is going but what we could do when it hits, etc. It also helps us track which shelters need more supplies, or more volunteers and so on.
This is one heck of a learning experience for all of us, I think. Especially for us in the Philippines. It’s a matter of preparation and coordination among people so we could adapt to whatever storms (literally and figuratively) that might hit us.