The Leader: Findabed helps Australia’s bushfire evacuees get refuge. “Set up just five days ago, Find A Bed is a service aimed at helping those displaced by the bushfire crisis and already scores have been relocated and the service is receiving new offers of assistance every minute. Erin Riley, from Razorback, NSW, set up the service on New Years Eve when she tweeted out that she had paddocks available for anyone in need of relocating their animals. She was overwhelmed by the number of people who also wanted to volunteer their homes and land.”
University of Southern Mississippi: “War Stories” Project to Capture the Experiences of National Guard Soldiers’ Service in Global War on Terror. “A new initiative of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will capture and preserve the oral and written story of Mississippi’s National Guard and its service in America’s 21st century military exploits, including the Global War on Terror and managing recovery operations following Hurricane Katrina.”
ReliefWeb: British Red Cross launches new online knowledge-sharing platform. “The hub is a free online platform with over 300 resources, providing a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone mainstreaming community engagement and accountability. Materials range from a ready-to-download three-day training package, to a toolkit designed to help set up and manage complaint and feedback mechanisms in any context.”
Nature: Can tracking people through phone-call data improve lives?. “After an earthquake tore through Haiti in 2010, killing more than 100,000 people, aid agencies spread across the country to work out where the survivors had fled. But Linus Bengtsson, a graduate student studying global health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, thought he could answer the question from afar. Many Haitians would be using their mobile phones, he reasoned, and those calls would pass through phone towers, which could allow researchers to approximate people’s locations.”
CNN: FEMA shared 2.3 million disaster survivors’ personal information with contractor . “Millions of hurricane and wildfire survivors are learning that they’re at ‘increased risk of identity theft and fraud’ because the Federal Emergency Management Agency shared their banking and other private information. The Department of Homeland Security inspector general said Friday that FEMA had unlawfully disclosed the private data of 2.3 million survivors with a federal contractor that was helping them find temporary housing.”
KTIC: Gov. Ricketts Unveils New “Nebraska Strong” Relief Website. “On the website, Nebraskans who need relief can log requests for items ranging from housing to tools. Requests will then be reviewed by the Nebraska Preparedness Partnership before being posted. After they are reviewed, they will then be available for fulfillment by members of the public.” The article also includes phone numbers for specific needs – farmers who need feed stuffs, a general questions hotline, etc.
Google Blog: California fires: how we’re providing aid and ways you can help. “Over the last week, three wildfires have devastated communities in California, and there’s been a tremendous effort—on the part of firefighters, first responders, local officials and NGOs—to contain the flames and help thousands of displaced families. Since the start of the fires, we’ve deployed resources to help those affected in our own backyard. Here’s a bit more on that, and how you can help.”