The Global Disaster Preparedness Center presented the tools that have developed to prepare communities for disasters. I had the honor to participate in the “Meeting Point” radio program offered by the American Red Cross, in which, Omar Abou-Samra – Director of the Global Disaster Preparedness Centers, Jeff Franklin – Manager Preparedness Tools & Resources of the Global Disaster Preparedness Center, and me Miguel Aguirre – Communication and Community Engagement at the GDPC presented preparedness toolkits for communities.
Technology fulfills various roles in terms of disaster preparedness. First, it serves as a knowledge transmission channel to educate communities; secondly, it is a massive medium that uses localized information adapted to the needs of each territory; and, third, it promotes meeting spaces to share among its users. Technology is a tool that has enabled communities to prepare through the transmission of timely information, adapted to each culture and socialized among the members of a community. These three elements contribute to building preparedness and resilience in societies.
The Global Disaster Preparedness Center has developed three tools to prepare communities for possible disasters. The Universal App Program includes two apps: for First Aid and Hazards alerts; the educational preparedness project named “The Pillowcase,” and the WhatNow early warning service.
All these tools were born from the need to have global tools that can adapt to local contexts. They were taken as specific initiatives of a National Society, but when identifying their impact results in the area, it was decided to extend them worldwide. From this identification, the GDPC team has done a great job with the technological and methodological development of these tools to make them available to the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent network around the world.