In wake of Boston tragedy, Google launches Person Finder

The service could be an invaluable tool. 

 

Curt Hopkins

Internet Culture

Published Apr 15, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 6:30 pm CDT

As it has done for every major tragedy in the last three years, starting with the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Google has launched a Person Finder for Boston.

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One of the primary strains for those with friends and family in areas like today’s Boston Marathon explosions is anxiety over their safety.

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With landlines into Boston overtaxed, cellphone services struggling, and social media sometimes chaotic and rumor-ridden, it is to be hoped that people searching for loved ones, and those in the area or who otherwise have information about people there, will take advantage of the service

On a G+ post announcing its launch, the comments section is full of thank yous, including Roxy Fozzard’s.

“I take my hat off to google, always there and always willing to help in any way it can, thank u.”

“Kudos for technology meeting a real need in real time,” added Michael Johnson.

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If you’re looking for someone you fear was possibly in the Copley Square area of Boston, please check the Person Finder.

Update: NBCDFW.com notes that Red Cross has a “Safe and Well Listing” that may also prove useful for those in the Boston area and their family and friends.

The Red Cross explains that the listing “is a central location for people in disaster areas in the United States to register their current status, and for their loved ones to access that information. It helps provide displaced families with relief and comfort during a stressful time.”

It’s available in both English and Spanish. The Red Cross has had decades of experience dealing with the effects of tragedies on both victims and their families. 

Update 2: Google has a form for Boston residents who can offer their homes to anyone in need of a place to stay.

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H/T Laura Snow | Photo by Sonia Su/Flickr

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*First Published: Apr 15, 2013, 6:20 pm CDT