Flood Forecast: People Find Silver Lining on the Internet

October has been a particularly tough month for residents and locals affected by the flood surrounding all the major provinces. Everyone can agree that social media is playing an integral role as traditional communication channels isn’t exactly the safest choice anymore. We all love the notion of helping hands during times of national disaster so it’s interesting to see how consumers use the new media in a bunch of different ways. Here’s how they are jumping right in with digital media.

A private sector group referred to as ‘Thai Flood’ from Kapook.com’s founder, Poramate Minsiri, has become one of the prime sources of real-time information on the nation’s flooding with the aim of breaking down and alerting relief efforts coordinated by multiple parties. Volunteers and others can chat via social networks on Facebook and Twitter for news that makes sense. Thai Flood is now the place for latest updates and reporting on the fly here.

Conservationist and Secretary-General of the Seub Nakasathien Foundation, Sasin Chalermlap, known for his unwavering passion for the environment decided the crisis would be best told through his personal videos on YouTube here after the government’s much-delayed response to flood warnings prompted him to make a stance. His video clips spread virally with massive supporters and Facebook users have dished out unending praises from his daily updates here. You can spot him on local television with Professor Seri Suparatti, an energy expert at Rangsit University who prepare consumers for accurate and honest information they simply can’t miss.

As most users perhaps discovered, Facebook is filling up with conversations and multimedia sharing about the flood. Based on recent news from ‘Thai Trend’, the system has tracked tweets from over 600,000 Thai Twitters. #Thaiflood is the most common hashtag while  น้ำท่วม, for ‘Flood’ in Thai, piled more than 348,000 mentions. That’s over half a million tweets combined, which is on average a mention every 1.15 seconds.

Additionally, virtual maps are helpful. Google implemented a crisis map that determines flooding areas with active updates working with organizations to investigate and confirm reports found from the links on the map. Esri and Nostra are also other maps worth checking out equipped with their own specific features.

Be sure to turn on your mobile devices. The ‘Thai Flood Reporter’ iPhone app will tell you to report the flooding in your area. When your present location is marked on the map, simply choose messages and send a tweet or SMS, upload a picture, and edit the text to be tweeted. Also, the ‘FloodFeed’ app purveys the latest tweets with the hashtag #Thaiflood. For those who don’t have a Twitter account and wish to forward and share news right away via the social network, you might find this useful.

As the flood (and information) keeps streaming in, concerted efforts from the online community is proof that social media may be the best usage during times of uncertainty. It’s the quickest and easiest way to communicate in a rescue-me-now situation. Thais are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing tech-advanced users. This calls for brands in the private sector to develop more digital channels in response to disaster relief efforts.