Will twitter, facebook or Google save your life one day?

After the earthquake in Japan earlier this year it’s definite: Social Media is no longer just a “nice-to-have” communication tool. It is in times of crisis a vital component of disaster management – especially in developed regions with high mobile and mobile web coverage.

In Japan doctors used twitter to tell people that new drug deliveries had arrived and where to get them from. By other twitter users re-tweeting the messages the information spread much faster than other ways of communication would.

In the immediate hours after the event millions of people in Japan were able to post that they are alive within hours on facebook, twitter or Myspace. This reduced demand on official disaster relief teams and enabled them to identify who was still missing. These efforts were extremely supported by Google’s People Finder website. Also very important was how easy it was to donate money. Donation services through mobile websites & apps enabled people all over the world to donate very quickly.

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