Google Helping Philippines Typhoon Victims With Online Services
Google launched a Typhoon Yolanda Crisis Page online to help victims, families and friends reconnect after the massive disaster.Google has created an online Typhoon Yolanda Crisis Page to help victims of the destructive, powerful storm reconnect with friends and family members around the world. The Crisis Page harnesses a wide range of Google services, from a person locator to relief maps and more, according to a Nov. 12 post by Aileen Apolo, the outreach program manager for Google Southeast Asia, on The Official Google.org Blog. "We've launched several tools, available on our Typhoon Yolanda crisis page, to help gather and relay information in connection with the incredible devastation that's occurred in the Philippines," wrote Apolo. "These resources include Google Person Finder, a Web application that allows individuals to post and search for the status of family or friends affected by the disaster." Users can click on the "I'm Looking for Someone" icon and type in individuals' names to see if their status has been reported in the site, wrote Apolo. Victims of the disaster can also let other people know that they are safe or that they have heard from others by clicking on the "I have information about someone" icon and typing in their important information. "As the number of names and records build, the tool will hopefully make it easier for those who are safe to pass on their news to anyone worried about them," she wrote. The Person Finder can also be accessed using mobile phones where Internet access is not available, wrote Apolo. "You can request status via [Short Message Service] by sending an SMS to 2662999 (Globe subscribers), 4664999 (SMART subscribers), 22020999 (Sun subscribers), or +16508003977 with the message "Search" and then the person's name," wrote Apolo. "For example, if you are searching for Joshua Reyes, send the message "Search Joshua Reyes."
A Typhoon Yolanda Relief Map has also been created and posted by Google to provide updates on shelters and other information in the disaster zone, according to Apolo. The tools are freely available to others to embed into their sites so that additional outlets can spread to help the victims of the typhoon, wrote Apolo. "The more people who contribute to them, the more useful they'll be," she wrote.