Tech Talk: World Disasters Report focusing on technology and humanitarian action

Technology and the future of humanitarian action is the focus of this year’s World Disasters Report being released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) today.

We’ll be sharing some of the findings of this report in the coming weeks, with infographics, case studies and information to illustrate just how much access to information and technology can impact people’s ability to prepare for, survive and recover from disasters. You can read the full World Disasters Report.

In recent years, we’ve witnessed the use of technology in times of disaster in Canada and around the world, including the Haiti earthquake, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, last year’s Hurricane Sandy and the more recent Alberta floods and Lac-Mégantic explosion.

Whether it’s social media tools, mobile phones, the Internet or early warning systems, technology is playing a key role in the response to disasters. It’s also apparent that there’s a digital divide when it comes to technology and disasters. Some of the most disaster-prone countries in the world also have the least access to new technologies.

Some of the 40 experts who contributed to this report will be participating in a launch event today, available via live webcast at 9:30 am ET. You can also follow the conversion around technology and disasters on Twitter using hashtag #WDR2013.

This infographic (also available in PDF here) illustrates this disparity between access to mobile phones and the Internet around the world, and the number of people affected by disasters.

Infographic World Disasters Report_EN_3

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