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Helping Hurricane Victims Using Social Media

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
37 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 06, at 09:00 AM CST
Project Owners

Helping Hurricane Victims Using Social Media


Hello! I’m Dr. Dhiraj Murthy, Associate Professor of Journalism and Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and founder of the Computational Media Lab. My lab is at the forefront of social media research and we’re creating innovative ways to help victims of natural disasters. When completed, this research will help identify new ways of helping hurricane victims that are more effective and could help save countless lives. If you are looking to make a tax-deductible contribution to a good cause before the end of the year, this is your chance to give back and make a big impact. I am raising money to support undergraduate natural hazards computational research in my lab. Please contribute any amount as this helps both undergraduate research and disaster victims! A win-win!


The US East Coast specifically has been hit hard by Hurricanes Florence and Michael and relief efforts could use a hand in figuring out what help victims need. Hurricane victims are using traditional methods of help like calling 9-1-1 less and less, instead posting images and asking for help on social media. These images are what I want my lab to conduct an image analysis of to help identify who needs help and figure out what assistance they need to start getting back on their feet, but I can’t do it without your help. 




For every dollar that you give, a student can study a hurricane image from social media. Without your help, these posts might never be studied and we can't increase resiliency and efficacy the next time a hurricane strikes. The more images we study, the better we can advise governmental organizations, disaster relief agencies, and volunteer groups on how to better help victims of natural disasters and be better informed on how they will function in future hurricanes. Every dollar you give will help us find an individual who has been affected by a hurricane, learn their disaster story, and determine how to help them recover from these terrible events. Our target amount to raise would fund an analysis of Hurricane Florence images and if we raise more, we can study images posted by Hurricane Michael victims.




Your contribution is a tax deductible gift to the University of Texas at Austin.

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Hurricane Florence had a maximum total of 35.93 inches (913 mm) of rain in Elizabethtown, North Carolina. This made it the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas.



60 people are known to have died during Hurricane Michael and our research seeks to improve resilience to lower deaths the next time a hurricane hits.



I-95 along with I-40 and Route 70 were made impassable by Florence, hampering evacuation efforts


Change Maker

140 represents Hurricane Florence's peak intensity with 1-minute winds. These winds led to destruction of entire neighborhoods.



Florence's mandatory evacuations for low-lying coastal areas constituted 245,000 people.



939 represents the central pressure of Hurricane Florence (27.7 inHg).


Honorary Hurricane Researcher

We will provide you with a report with some of our findings that acknowledges your contribution.

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