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Haitian Emergency SMS


this is a repost from Taran Rampersad’s KnowProse.com Haitian Emergency SMShttp://www.knowprose.com/node/22

Haitian Emergency SMS

January 15, 2010 by Taran Rampersad
A friend of mine – someone I met in St. Lucia in 2003 for CARDICIS – is in Haiti, and through a Closed Email List (CIVIC) was able to communicate his current situation. He’s alive. Some of his family are not so well.

When he wrote the email, he was in a hospital with a boy who was apparently having a cerebral hemorrhage (trauma). I wish I could post his entire email here – but I can’t out of respect for my friend.

What I can do is tell you what I sent him and the intermediate friend, since with Dan Lane we were able to set up the Alert Retrieval Cache that was designed to do exactly what is needed – a project I abandoned long ago. It predated Twitter. And it could work in Haiti.

People could send text messages to a central number to let people know their number and status.

The most practical approach is to get a hold of whoever does Mobile Service in Haiti. They’re obviously still up and running. They could do a broadcast to get the word out.

If ANYONE in the Entire World knows anyone in Haiti’s Mobile Service or can get a message to them, this should be set up as soon as 4 days ago (5, if you ask me):

(1) Provide a number for people to text to.
(2) A broadcast message to everyone in the network including the number and what information to text – Where they are, How they are.
(3) Have someone monitoring the texts to that number (again, they have the equipment there!) and direct aid as necessary.

If people can set up such numbers to receive donations, they can damned well set them up so that the trapped and injured can communicate with the rest of the world. While their batteries last.

Get to it, people. Time is measured in heartbeats.

Someone, surprise me.

after reading this i remembered something similar.. well along the SMS lines that was on GlobalVoicesOnline… it was called Frontline SMSused in a medical environment tho but im pretty sure that it or something very similar could also be utilized if the Cellular providers cant implement a similar solution…

i may be totally in the wrong techno-wise but we need to find a solution as it can then be implemented anywhere in the world… remember that this can happen to us here in Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean as well… it already has to the Haitians… this can be one more lifesaving item in the emergency kit…

please offer up solutions and get this message to those who can help the Haitians now…

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  1. 18 January, 2010 at 10:30

    Haiti Emergency SMS Deux

    January 18, 2010 by Taran Rampersad
    As I wrote a few days ago, an emergency SMS number was needed. While it is questionable how useful the Ushahidi 4636 Shortcode for Haiti is with mobile batteries in the rubble close to death (though hopefully not their owners), it still allows some coordination of volunteer efforts which is quite important.

    While it isn’t the Alert Retrieval Cache concept, it… sort of is. And it is good to see the idea being implemented, though honestly…

    I would like to see governments and mobile carriers implement and advertise such short codes before disasters. The cost is low, it’s feasible and there’s really no excuse for this not to be done in every country throughout the world. There are plenty of uses.

    But… as I have said before… people don’t smell the smoke until the flames are licking their posteriors. Oh well.

    in short they go it up and running with some help… time for Trinidad & Tobago and the rest of the region to implement in case of any Natural Disaster…

  2. 3 June, 2010 at 10:24

    Guud stuff, could you be a little more precise? sorry bad eng (im from netherlands)

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