Social media use in a crisis – #eqnz – Provide free wifi access

In a crisis like this, as we saw in the September earthquake, every person with a smartphone, iPhone or other mobile device, becomes a walking information post, both in a receiving and a broadcasting capacity. They may be accessing and posting information via Twitter, Facebook or email and act like a little communication hub for the people around them. So what can you do to help?

Provide free wifi access

Unfortunately in New Zealand our mobile data network is still small and highly expensive. So if you are in Christchurch and you still have power and wifi access,  here’s something you can do to facilitate the free flow of information and communication during this crisis.  Turn off the password protection on your modem and give passers-by the opportunity to access the internet.You may want to add a sign in your window to alert people to the fact that there is free wifi access available.

Here’s how to set this up for a Telecom New Zealand D-link router.

1. Access your router’s control panel. Use the Telecom instructions to find out how

2. Turn the wireless protection (WEP or WPA) off by setting it to None

3. Apply your settings and Save

4. You may need to reboot your router by turning it off and back on again.

Information on WPA and WEP protection from Telecom.

I’m hoping other people can provide instructions on how to do this for other modems/providers in the comments.

Provide a power charge

People with mobile devices will need somewhere to charge them. You can open your home for this by putting a sign in your window for your neighbours to see.

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2 thoughts on “Social media use in a crisis – #eqnz – Provide free wifi access

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Helen Baxter, Ryan Jennings and whiteheadnz, margaret lewis. margaret lewis said: Social media use in a crisis – #eqnz – Provide free wifi access […]

  2. Hilary Bowler says:

    Hi Joyce,
    I am a post-graduate student looking into social media response to disasters and found your presentation on #eqnz very interesting. I am using an archive you created via TwapperKeeper for my own research and was wondering if I could have a discussion with you about your research techniques using Twapper Keeper?
    Many thanks,

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