A new feature has appeared in iOS 5 in Japan: It’s a built-in notification system tied to Japan’s sophisticated early-earthquake-detection service, which can provide between a few seconds and a couple of minutes of advance notice prior to an earthquake’s actually hitting.
The situation in Japan isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse. Luckily, the number of ways you can help is increasing, and some of those relief efforts are available quickly and easily through your Mac or iOS device, so failure to act isn’t an option.
Amateur footage out of Japan show burning buildings, shaking shelves and damaged roads in the aftermath of the massive earthquake. A number of online platforms have been aggregating citizen media reports about the natural disaster, offering a unique alternative to the clips shown on TV.
A study that looked at the use of social media, text messaging, interactive maps and other online tools during the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake says they helped co-ordinate rescue efforts and aid, but that more work needs to be done to make them fully effective.
As they did during the earthquake in Haiti and other natural disasters, social-media tools such as Twitter and various other web resources have become a key source of information on what is happening to the country. Here is a partial list of some of those resources.
Let’s face it, most iPhone apps probably won’t even get used more than once or twice, and even then, you won’t be using them for anything particularly important. But one app came in very handy for one very lucky iPhone owner. The phone and the app belonged to an aid worker trapped after the tragic January 12 earthquake in Haiti.
Max Woolley, a father working in the area with a humanitarian aid group prior to the disaster, was buried under rubble for about 60 hours after the earthquake struck. During the quake, Woolley received fairly serious injuries to both his head and his leg. Luckily, he also had an app that dealt specifically with how to treat and respond to such injuries. Read More about Saving Your Life: There’s an App for That
Though text donations for earthquake disaster relief in Haiti originally faced 90-day delays until they got to charities, now the four major American mobile carriers have committed to making an exception and passing the donations to Haiti more quickly.
One very impressive thing about the international reaction to Haiti’s recent devastating earthquake is the many, many ways you can contribute to relief efforts. The Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations acted quickly, setting up donations via the web, through partnerships with product makers, and through incredibly simple text messages charged directly to your bill.
The flipside is that it can be hard to know exactly which methods are legit, and in which cases the bulk of your donation actually goes to relief work. Apple (s aapl) and the Red Cross have set up a method for donating money that makes it very simple to make a contribution that will go entirely towards helping Haitians deal with the fallout of this tragic event; you can now donate via iTunes. Read More about Donate Directly to Haiti Relief Efforts via iTunes