Drones, Twitter, Data, and DJs: The New Face for Disaster Response

Imagine Hilary Clinton receiving her hypothetical “3am phone call” and entering the situation room as a horrific hurricane batters the Gulf Coast. While USAID assesses the damage in the Caribbean, FEMA needs immediate, reliable, and detailed information to identify domestic needs. Luckily, it’s 2016. Computer scientists have developed reliable tools to rapidly collect, interpret and transmit hyperlocal data. Their automated programs scour social media for signs of water and medicine shortages, and pinpoint collapsed buildings from drone footage. Within 24 hours, they turn around this information for rapid deployment of emergency response units. Distraught relatives and empathetic onlookers feel an urgent need to help. As...

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