On September 16th, 2022, we collaborated with our partners at Twitter to launch a 24-hour nation-wide disaster preparedness campaign. In preparation for the upcoming monsoon season, we called on Indonesian residents to practice submitting disaster simulation reports to PetaBencana.id by uploading their best selfies to the map. With the #SelfieDermawan hashtag trending on Twitter, over 25 million Indonesians engaged with the campaign, and the PetaBencana.id map lit up with selfies from all over Indonesia!
Through this campaign, we celebrated the faces of everyone who has been in a disaster, has helped during a disaster, or is willing to help in future disasters. As a testament to the strong spirit of “digital gotong royong”, residents all over Indonesia joined in on the campaign to remind our respective communities about the importance of sharing real-time information for disaster response in preparation for the upcoming monsoon season.
Why selfies? More effective than any sensor, selfies contain valuable information about the relative severity of a flood (or other disaster) in relation to a body and place. Importantly, selfies shared on social media provide precise, real-time information about locally specific conditions, as these images are geo-tagged. According to the IPCC report, one of the greatest barriers to climate adaptation is the lack of locally relevant time-sensitive information. However, with the abundant data being shared on social media we know that this is a barrier that can be resolved. Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, PetaBencana.id is able to collect, structure, and visualize this data in real-time, transforming the selfie into a life-saving tool for everyone to make time-critical decisions about safety and response.
Thank you to all partners and residents for participating in the #SelfieDermawan campaign! Of course, thank you to the residents who inspired us with their original social media flood selfies, demonstrating that even during a disaster, we can graciously help our communities, and that a selfie can in fact save lives.