In 2008, a BBC World Service Trust policy briefing argued that people affected by earthquakes, floods or other emergencies often lacked the information they needed to survive and that this only added to their stress and anxiety. Left in the Dark: the unmet need for information in humanitarian emergencies maintained that humanitarian agencies were increasingly effective and coordinated in getting food, water, shelter and medical help to people affected by disasters, but were neglecting the need to get often life-saving information to them.

Unquestionably, the biggest single change in the communications sector since the 2008 Left in the Dark paper has been the explosion in access to communications technology among communities affected by disaster. As a result, this is the focus of this paper.

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