Stargazer helps to connect families and resources during a disaster
| 03.13.2008 | 09:32:27 | Views: 3732 | ID:
March 13 '08: The Washington Post reported a Northern Virginia nonprofit which is working to connect family members, resources and those needing resources during a disaster. Stargazer.org was developed by Arthur Bushkin and the website "uses Web- and cellphone-based tools to connect users of handheld devices with colleagues and relatives."
Bushkin told the Post, "It's such an easy concept. ... It's the exact same way kids vote for 'American Idol'", referencing the text messaging capabilities which let people send information about their whereabouts, condition and any other information to a database which then sends that information out to a larger network through cell data services which hold up longer in most cases than the voice networks during an emergency.The Post continued, "Stargazer also allows users to set up distribution lists to send messages to cellphones and e-mail accounts; provides a repository for key documents and details, such as prescription numbers; and offers a place to collaborate on emergency plans, similar to what can be done on other social networking sites." Stargazer's capabilities were used last year during a pandemic exercise in San Diego and during a preparedness exercise organized by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Additionally, Virginia uses Stargazer on the commonwealth's Emergency Management website. National Blueprint Tags: Communications & Public Information, Citizen & Community.
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