The site, which can be found at http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions/, is a simple one, but powerful in its scope.
Loved ones, news agencies, first responders, and others can find those who might have been involved in the Boston Marathon explosions, which occurred yesterday at approximately 2:50 pm, EST, as the majority of marathoners were crossing the finishing line.
The site has two main options: the first, highlighted in a green box, contains a link for those looking for someone; while the second option, highlighted in blue, contains a link to submit information about someone. Clicking the “I’m looking for someone” link takes the user to another page where a name, in whole or in part, can be entered. Clicking the “I have information about someone” takes the user to a page where a person’s given name and/or family name can be entered.
Google set-up this site on its outreach domain, Google.org, which is a site centered around information dissemination, education, non-profits and other charitable resources.
According to the crisis information sharing site, it has received and is tracking about 5,200 records. The site also provides visitors with two phone numbers: one to the city’s mayoral family hotline, 617-635-4500, and another to the city’s police department for tips about the explosions, 800-494-8477.
Below the numbers is a link to the Red Cross Safe and Well. By clicking this link, those on or near the scene of the terrorist act can list themselves as “safe and well” or those looking for information about a loved one can search records which contain first and last names, as well as a brief message about the person.
Google’s Boston Marathon explosions website is not monitored, nor is any information verified, at the bottom of the page a disclaimer reads, “All data entered will be available to the public and viewable and usable by anyone. Google does not review or verify the accuracy of this data.”
More information about the site and how it works can be found on the FAQ page, located at: http://support.google.com/personfinder/?hl=en.