“Social networks are crucial in crisis scenarios management”, says European study

iSAR+ will provide instructions for an efficient use of social media in crisis situations

. European project reached an important milestone with a simulation of a crisis scenario at the Paris Subway

Social networks and mobile technology provides important information for the authorities in case of crisis scenarios and catastrophes. This is one of the conclusions of the European Research Project iSAR+ - Online and Mobile Communications for Crisis Response and Search and Rescue, funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and lead by the Portuguese technological Group TEKEVER.

The project reached an important milestone last month with a simulation of a crisis scenario at the Paris Montparnasse station during which authorities were receiving social network information provided by particular users. It’s also settled a final showcase in Kuopio (Finland) next year. 

“The information gathered on social networks and evaluated by our system were crucial for a faster and more efficient reaction of the authorities. For example, people provide us geo-referenced information and some details like the number of injured people or problems to access the accident site”, said João Belfo, iSAR+ Project Leader. 

TEKEVER is the Coordinator of the iSAR+ research project (http://isar.i112.eu) which aims at developing the iSAR+ Guidelines, providing instructions and recommendations for citizens and Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) agents for an effective and efficient use of social media and mobile technology in crisis situations.

The iSAR+ Platform integrates Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and functionalities that offer additional communication channels between PPDR agents and citizens and enhances high-quality situational awareness for PPDR and citizens, during and after a crisis situation. 

iSAR+ is a two and a half year European project, with an overall budget of around five millions euros for the 16 participating institutions of nine European countries.