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Life-saving NGOs can now rely on Factal for free

A member of NGO Team Rubicon stands arms akimbo looking at rubble left behind in the wake of a storm on a beach.

Building on our public service mission, Factal is now providing our breaking news alerting and mapping service at no cost to a growing list of global non-profit organizations. More than a dozen NGOs, including Team Rubicon, Direct Relief and Samaritan’s Purse, are among the first group to rely on Factal’s 24/7 service.

“As Hurricane Dorian bore down on the Bahamas, Factal’s consistent and urgent reporting on the stalling of the storm and identification of damage helped the National Planning Team make the determination that this population would need assistance immediately,” said Lauren Vatier at Team Rubicon.

Within a day of landfall, Team Rubicon sent an advance team to the Bahamas. Since then, more than 350 volunteers have descended on the islands.

“For Team Rubicon, Factal is not just about receiving an initial alert on an event – the program really shines in moving with the disaster and providing real-time updates on the changes that exist within an incident,” Vatier said.

Team Rubicon at the National Operations Center (photo: Team Rubicon)

Direct Relief, meanwhile, deployed emergency resources and medical supplies to the hardest-hit areas of the Bahamas.

“Factal allows us to see far more useful reporting than we would ordinarily see about the local details of crisis events,” explains Andrew Schroeder, director of research and analysis at Direct Relief. “And by specifically locating that reporting, we can understand where those events are occurring and how they’re relevant to our response efforts. It’s quickly become a really important tool for us.”

NGOs not only use Factal to help people impacted by major events and disasters, but also to protect their global employees and volunteers who work in the world’s most dangerous countries. For example, several NGOs are providing medical care and humanitarian aid in Syria, Haiti and Afghanistan.

Samaritan’s Purse medical staff provided trauma care during the battle for Mosul, Iraq (Photo from Samaritan’s Purse, Jan. 2017)

“We’ve been alerted of a breaking security incident numerous times with Factal as the initial source,” explains Evan Poss, global security manager for Samaritan’s Purse, a humanitarian aid organization that works in over 100 countries like Iraq and South Sudan. “As a result, Factal is now a mainstay across our international security team and a resource that we draw from often for information on emerging and developing situations that affect our operations.”

Factal’s fast, verified coverage emphasizes critical details like precise geolocation, proximity and local sourcing. NGO members can also collaborate in a chat with Factal’s experienced journalists and the largest real-time community of security and disaster response professionals in the world.

If you’re a NGO that provides disaster response, humanitarian aid or other life-saving services, please email for free access.

Factal was founded by the creators of, the popular free service that was disbanded by parent company NBC News in late 2016. While Factal charges for corporate access, we’re excited to make the full web and mobile service available for free for NGOs. Factal data will also be available on ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro, the most popular NGO mapping platform.

Learn more about Factal’s public service mission and code of ethics.

(Top photo of the Bahamas courtesy of Team Rubicon.)