Flut Wiki (Flood Wiki)
On 21 July 2021, a week after the great flood in the Ahr valley in Germany, the website “Flut Wiki” was launched. The founder, Ruth Ehrenstein, saw the disaster, the many people who wanted to help, and the chaos of information and misinformation. So she came up with the idea of creating a flood Wikipedia, putting the motto “help through knowledge” into practice.
At first, access to publish articles was free for all, as is usual with wikis. But when misinformation from unknown authors began to appear on the site, the system was changed so that only registered authors were allowed to publish information. Most of the helpers did not know each other beforehand, but came together through the website. At the height of the crisis, 20 people were working on research and writing articles, and another 30 were helping out occasionally.
The aim of the website was to review, bundle, structure and link information and news, and then make it all available. Affected people, helpers and interested parties should be able to find information and easily find suitable platforms or actions and be directed to the relevant website. For example, helpers and those affected could find the organisation Helfer Shuttle here and submit their request for help on their website or register as a helper.
The effort, which started with just one person, quickly expanded, with 20 people working regularly on the research and writing at its peak, and another 30 occasionally. In February 2022, the volunteers founded the association “Kat Wiki” (Catastrophes Wiki). The wiki was created to make the experience and structures available for future crises. Volunteers or people affected by crises in other regions of Germany, for example, should find it easier to create their own wiki for the respective situation.
In the meantime, the website “Kat Wiki hilft Ukraine” (Catastrophes Wiki helps Ukraine) has been created, an information platform for refugees and aid workers from the war zone in Ukraine. Parts of the site have also been translated into Ukrainian and English.
During the great flood in the Ahr valley in Germany, there was a chaos of information and misinformation, so Ruth Ehrenstein came up with the idea of creating a flood Wikipedia “Flut Wiki”, putting the motto “help through knowledge” into practice. So people can help with information, filtering misinformation and find websites to ask for accommodation and help.