My friend Ike Pigott and the Red Cross have been preparing for this moment for some time and now they have launched some new communication tools to aid in the California fires. I think we all thought this system would be tested with a hurricane, but that is the nature of disasters – you never know where they will hit next.
Getting the Word Out
- The Red Cross has set up a Twitter channel to send out minute-to-minute updates on this and other disasters, including statistics and directions. Click here to follow.
- If you are unable to get Internet access, the Red Cross has a Safe and Well Twitter account set up to help people check into the Safe and Well Website with a cell phone. If you have set up a Twitter account, follow these directions, text 40404 and in the body add D safeandwell FIRSTNAME LASTNAME #### STREET CITY STATE ZIP CELLPHONE' and a brief note about how you are.
- You can add the widget that I have included in this post to your own blog or Webpage by clicking on ↑ Grab this Headline Animator
- The Red Cross is tracking what bloggers are saying about the California fires by linking to them in delicious, as well as tracking a Flickr photo feed group
- Read the American Red Cross' blog Red Cross Chat, which is extensively covering this operation
- Follow local news station KPBS on a Twitter channel as well
Do Something to Help
- Donate via SMS: You can donate $5 to the Red Cross Disaster fund by texting the word “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). The donations will appear on your monthly bill or be debited from prepaid account balances. Participating carriers include AT&T; Mobility, Alltel, Boost Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and SunCom, with VeriSign powering the intelligent messaging infrastructure. Note: You can check the veracity of this statement by reading about it on the official Red Cross blog for the California fires
- Steal this post and put it up on your own blog (no credit necessary). There is nothing like viral word of mouth to make this campaign a success and to help support the people that have lost so much to this fire.