News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
    • Twitter (@DirectRelief)
    • Facebook (@DirectRelief)
    • Instagram (@DirectRelief)

Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Using Mobile Technology to Guide On The Ground Response After Sandy


From Sunday through Thursday this past week, Direct Relief’s initial post-disaster assessment team visited clinical healthcare partners around the New York area to determine the scope of damage and scale of needs.

In many cases the team was confronted with chaotic situations that required rapid orientation on the ground.  Clinics had just re-opened their doors after a week of flooding and power outages and struggled to shore up their systems. Families and individuals who themselves had been without power or displaced from their homes were turning up in highly variable numbers with a range of significant health problems.

Fuel shortages slowed transport in many cases to a trickle. Rumors flew of  the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and city-led efforts as well as ad hoc organizations being formed to conduct outreach efforts in the hardest hit areas.

To assist our on-the-ground assessment efforts, Direct Relief deployed an early-stage prototype of Palantir’s mobile “blue force tracking” application for Android phones, which provides location-based information of those on the ground. Using a net of Nexus handsets,  the team maintained constant, accurately geo-referenced contact with our base station in Santa Barbara.

Data was collected on the phones in the form of survey entries, Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates and images, and transmitted in real time to analysts using Palantir who used the data to study the changing situation and make recommendations for action. Field assessment teams received real-time guidance on clinic shipping histories, nearby event reports from Healthmap and other sources, as well as awareness of essential contacts.

Although in many ways this was really a pilot test of the system, mobile information tools from Palantir brought tremendous intelligence to bear on field-based humanitarian assessment and opened the promise of extending our analytic capacities more directly into events as they happen.

Knowledge of what is happening in areas affected by Superstorm Sandy and how Direct Relief’s actions will impact emergency response goals and objectives is critical to making intelligent decisions on the ground. With a little help from technology, Direct Relief is able to build situational awareness – an important, but often elusive element of successful decision-making in emergency response contexts.

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