OECS Commission to start using Facebook’s Disaster Maps ahead of the 2019 hurricane season
OECS and Facebook Joint Media Release
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 — The OECS Commission signed an agreement with Facebook Caribbean today that will allow access to Facebook’s Disaster Maps, in an effort to improve emergency response for OECS Member States ahead of the 2019 hurricane season.
Facebook’s Disaster Maps are dynamic mapping resources with information about where populations are located, how they are moving, and where they are ‘checking in safe’ during a natural disaster. Using this de-identified and aggregated information, relief agencies will be able to more effectively respond to the needs of affected communities with appropriate services and supplies.
At a signing ceremony held in honour of the partnership, Claudia Giraldo, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for the Caribbean, stated
"In moments of crisis, people come to Facebook to connect with friends and loved ones. The anonymized information about their location can help relief organisations concentrate their efforts where they are most needed.”
“Supporting communities to recover and rebuild after a disaster is core to our mission. We are aware of the challenges that many Caribbean nations face during disasters and we are very pleased to be able to support the OECS Commission with our Disaster Maps. We hope this is the first step towards broadened collaboration.”
Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission, stated
“As we continue to strengthen our resilience to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, we are cognizant of the advantages of a predictive approach. Access to Facebook’s Disaster Maps will allow us to monitor the almost real-time movement of persons and therefore be better positioned to provide assistance.”
“We look forward to continued partnership with Facebook on this extremely important initiative.”
For more information about how Disaster Maps work, visit: https://dataforgood.fb.com/tools/disaster-maps/