People who have friends or relatives they can rely on for help are healthier and live longer than those who don’t. Every disaster has the potential to impact health, so having people you can depend on for help is especially important during a disaster. That’s why we are encouraging everyone to identify their lifelines in advance. Recent disasters, including the crises in Haiti, Japan and Joplin, Missouri, have demonstrated the power of Facebook and other social media to promote community resilience by allowing users to share information about their wellbeing and garner support from their social networks. ASPR has partnered with developers to create Facebook apps that help people develop these connections and create “Lifelines” that they can call on in an emergency.
Before a disaster strikes, you can use the Project: Lifeline and bReddi apps to designate your Lifelines. Your Lifelines are the Facebook friends that you can count on to check on you and to help you get the basic necessities that you need to keep you safe and healthy throughout the disaster and recovery. As you choose your Lifelines, think about not only the people that you can depend on, but also who may be best able to help you in an emergency. For example, if there is a major disaster, your entire community may be affected, so it helps to have at least one Lifeline that is outside your immediate area.
Remember that phone lines are often jammed during disasters, so you may not be able to call your loved ones to let them know that you’re all right or that you need help. By using Project: Lifeline or bReddi Facebook app, you have established another mechanism for giving or getting the support that you need in an emergency.
Facebook users can also use these apps to create disaster readiness plans and share their plans with their emergency contacts. By taking steps to establish your plans and learn about risks now, you have a much better chance of withstanding a disaster when it strikes.
Project: Lifeline Facebook App
Project Lifeline provides a simple, unified Facebook app that draws on your existing social networks to help keep you communicate with your Lifelines during a disaster. Before a disaster strikes, Project: Lifeline will help formalize your communications networks and establish whose aid you will count on if you need it. Lifelines will be able to update your status in an emergency status list and keep your friends informed of your well being. The app also helps you find resources that will teach you about disaster risks and how to keep yourself safe.
Go to the Project: Lifeline Facebook app >>
Get the Project: Lifeline widget >>