THURSDAY 1 SEP 2011 7:35 AM


Google Crisis Response informs users how technology can help them before and during crises - and a new section of the site places the emphasis on preparing for crisis.

The site contains tutorials on how to make best use of Google tools before and during a crisis, including ways to collaborate efficiently via Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Sites, and how Google My Maps and Google Earth can help to visualise disaster-related information.

Google Crisis Response brings together all the tools that can enable swift engagement with crisis situations into one hub. The site also highlights Google’s efforts to assist relief organisations through charitable donations – as well as corporate giving, there will be links on the Google homepage and on crisis Landing Pages for users to donate.

Google’s crisis response product manager Nigel Snoad explained that Google search data and a recent American Red Cross survey both suggest people increasingly turn to online resources and tools for information and communication during major crises.

“First responders, who provide services in the aftermath of disasters, are also finding internet and cloud-based tools and information useful—for improving their understanding of a situation, collaborating with each other and communicating with the public,” he said.

Google has also introduced a new public preparedness web resource, Get Tech Ready, which has been developed with FEMA, the American Red Cross, the Ad Council and Google Crisis Response. It includes tips on using technology to prepare for, adapt to and recover from disasters.