People to people network during times of distress

: Citizen reporting, especially on social media, has been helping the residents, especially during disasters. When the city roads were flooded in the recent spell of rains from the North-East monsoon, many people resorted to social media, before venturing out.
People to people network during times of distress

Chennai

Naresh R, a city-based HR executive, said he relied on social media to get updates on the flooding and traffic situation before stepping out of his home. “Many, like me, relied on social media. During the 2015 floods, many people posted updates about water stagnation in their areas, which was helpful. This year too, I found the citizen reports to be accurate,” said the professional. Citizen reporting on social media is good, especially during emergency situations, pointed out Deepak Raghuraman, Executive - Internal Control at Pure Chemicals Group of Companies. “We don’t have any other mechanism where we can get real time updates. 
Just a hashtag search with the location on Twitter can fetch details of the prevailing situation in that particular location,” he said, adding that accuracy needs to be fine-tuned. “The posts in social media often carry more rumours than the traditional approach. But, we can identify the rumours. As a netizen, we should also help others in educating how to identify the rumours,” he added. 
Last Saturday, another IT professional, Levin Madhusudan and a group of social media users, helped deliver relief for residents of an apartment complex in South Kolathur. Anand Chandrasekhar, one of the residents, posted on Facebook, “After spending five frustrating days in the floods, I had to shout out for help through Facebook, highlighting the plight of the stranded families around Rajeshwari Nagar in S Kolathur. Within 15 minutes of posting and requesting for help, I was flooded with calls from every nook and corner of Chennai.” Madhusudhan, who had conducted relief operations during the 2015 floods, said, “We already did this during 2015, but this time from this experience we learned a lot. People remembered the 2015 experience and thought that someone will come and help, so they can stay put.”

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