Monday, September 19, 2011

Google Crisis Response

Google is involved in a number of worthy environmental and humanitarian causes. One of the lesser known projects is the Google Crisis Response Team. This is a small group within the company that makes critical information more accessible during natural disasters and humanitarian crises (the team maintains a Web site here). There are many elements of Google technology that can be put to use during a crisis. Check out this recent blog post where Nigel Snoad, the team project manager, discusses tools and resources that you may be able to put to use.

I'm all for having good technology at my disposal during events which require crisis management (tools like Google Earth have become indispensable to me for planning). My one caveat though, is you should always treat a technology-based solution as just another tool in your larger crisis response toolbox. In my opinion, having solid problem-solving and decision-making skills, that aren't dependent on a specific tool, is what's really essential. That foundation, coupled with a good understanding of the strengths and limitations of each of your tools (whether hi-tech or low-tech), will make you an infinitely more effective crisis manager.



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