The potential of self-help / open source initiatives and citizen alert systems in disaster communication


Fast paced technology development and the almost instant circulation of digital information have also had enduring effects on communication patterns embraced by citizens across the world. Today, we are witnesses to increasing bidirectional communication between established authorities and citizens, between citizens and communities themselves as well as between communities situated continents apart. Grassroots initiatives get propagated with increasing speed while the creative commons generate open-source initiatives that everyone who wishes can contribute to. And though not yet a general trend of initiative, movements of self-help combined with open source initiative and citizen alert systems created ad-hoc via e.g. social media in the advent of e.g. a major earthquake or a terrorist attack, must be taken into consideration when designing communication strategies for risk, crisis and disaster management.

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