Harnessing the power of citizen intelligence to understand and respond to disasters, FEMA in late 2013 launched a new feature in its iOS/Android app that crowd-sources photos of disasters and extreme events.
“Disaster Reporter” enables people to upload photos of disaster scenes with short captions, which, after a quick vetting process, are then plotted by location on an interactive map. The public, FEMA, emergency management officials, first-responders and others can view the photos instantly during or after an event.
HOW IT WORKS
The Disaster Reporter feature relies on users’ smartphone GPS, and the copyright for the photos belongs to the user. FEMA provides would-be citizen reporters a set of instructions about how and what to upload and, most important, advice on how to stay safe when taking disaster photos.
As you might recall, FEMA’s app also offers users disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, emergency meeting location information, and a map plotted with open shelters and FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
So, build your emergency kit, develop an emergency plan, and if disaster strikes in your neck of the woods, consider sending your images through Disaster Reporter as a way to assist recovery and relief operations.Don’t forget: You can download the latest government mobile apps from the USA.gov Apps Gallery.
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