Saturday, January 16, 2010

People Finder Tools to Help Locate Relatives Missing in Haiti

State Department’s ‘Person Finder’

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on Friday the launch of a new tool, the “Person Finder,” to allow people to find and share information on missing loved ones in Haiti. This tool and other relief information can also be found at

Here is part of the statement on the release of State’s Person Finder:  People around the world are turning to the Internet to search for information on friends and family in Haiti: however, accurate information is fragmented and difficult to locate. The State Department convened a call with NGOs and the tech community to brainstorm how to innovatively utilize technology in the ongoing search and rescue efforts. As a result of the call, a group of engineers from the private, public, and NGO sectors come together to build the “Person Finder.” It is a simple tool that allows people to locate and contribute information on people in Haiti. This tool is available in French and English, and can be embedded on any website.                
In addition to helping people find their loved ones, this tool will make the data accessible to other governments and private organizations in an easily manageable and accessible format.

International Committee of the Red Cross:  Locate Relatives through Family Links

The International Committee of the Red Cross has opened an online page called which aims to accelerate the process of restoring contact between separated family members.  You can check The List to see if your relative's name is on the list, Register yourself if you want to inform your relative of your whereabouts, Register your relative if the relative you’re looking for is not on the list.

The ICRC cautions that it has no means of verifying the information sent through this open network. “The information given on this website is not confidential and can be consulted by everyone. It is the responsibility of the persons publishing information on this website to ensure that no harm can result from this publication. The ICRC cannot be held responsible for any possible negative consequence that might arise from the publication in this website.”

Ushahidi Haiti |
Ushahidi Haiti says that its crisis map represents the most comprehensive and up-to-date crisis map available to the humanitarian community. The information in the site is mapped in near real time and gathered from reports coming from inside Haiti via: SMS, web, email, radio, phone, Twitter, Facebook, television, list-serves, live streams and situation reports. It has 449 reports as of this writing.

How to Report
  1. By sending a message to 447624802524
  2. By sending an email to
  3. By sending a tweet with the hashtag/s #haiti or #haitiquake
  4. Filling this form

Volunteers at the Fletcher School's Situation Room are mapping about 50% of the reports 24 hours a day. The other 50% of reports come from the Ushahidi team and volunteers around the world. Each report is first read at least once by Situation Room before being published on the map. This Ushahidi deployment represents a joint initiative with members of the International Network of Crisis Mappers (CM*Net).

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