: And here’s an AP story that illustrates just why we need Recovery 2.0 to at least communicate among good efforts:
It took Priddy and three other volunteers from the First Baptist Church most of the weekend to post details online on about 500 refugees.
Each person’s data had to be typed in five times to populate just five of as many as 50 online databases and message boards created to connect those displaced by the disaster with loved ones.
“It’s incredibly slow when you have to input each one,” Priddy said. “What’s aggravating is they are not in the same format so it’s not like you can cut and paste.”
Although the Internet makes it simple for people around the world to help out with disaster relief, all the well-intentioned but largely duplicative people-finding efforts have led to confusion, frustration and wasted time….
The Red Cross believes its Family Links Registry, previously used during civil wars abroad and the Asian tsunami, can perform that role. By Wednesday, more than 117,000 entries had been submitted by people seeking a loved one or reporting that they are safe, and many more people visited the site to conduct searches.
“Our Web site is so widely known and so heavily used that I think it’s got a momentum of its own,” said Sara Blandford, manager of international family tracing services at the
American Red Cross.
The site even has the blessing of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Nonetheless, the U.S.
Department of Justice turned to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when it wanted a database for refugee children and parents.
Having worked for years with local law enforcement agencies, the nonprofit organization was glad to build a database that, unlike the Red Cross’, has room for photos and the types of physical attributes familiar to police.
And then there’s the National Next of Kin Registry, a nonprofit group that is willing to work with relief organizations but can’t share data directly for privacy and security reasons, spokesman John Hill said. Its database isn’t publicly searchable.
Media organizations such as CNN and MSNBC have also created databases, as did the Web-only GulfCoastNews.com.