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#Hashtag Standard: A Universal Guide for Disaster Recovery & Emergency Response

Today everyone has a cell phone, even the poor. This advantage is allowing the public to use Twitter for real-time data information exchange. To date civilians have already been providing support during a variety of crises like wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, political protests, shootings and communicable-disease tracking. The Ebola Challenge can benefit and enhance its existing lines of communication & data tracking by encouraging proactive standardization & the use of hashtags. Hashtags can help health officials better leverage crowdsourced information for operational planning, response, tracking and containment. Streamlining & tailoring health care emergency response hashtags can facilitate this process in real time.

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Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, Red Cross, UN, WFP, Tony Banbury, hospitals and Ebola emergency response teams should encourage the standardization of hashtags: For starters #Ebola, a public/civilian/NGO reporting hashtag, an emergency response hashtag, country, team member (burial and other roles) and need (food, orphaned kids). Each hashtag is intended to fulfil a specific role, including ensuring the continuity of information; public tracking
of needs, people and supplies; and providing a platform to facilitate direct assistance.

For more information on how the United Nations Office for the Coordinatian of Humanitarian Affairs is handling Hashtag Standards for Emergency Situations please click here.

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