In the aftermath of the Brussels attacks, the EENA team would like to thank everyone for the supportive messages and concern. Our thoughts are with the people affected by these hard times, to whom we wish courage and strength.

EENA tried to contribute to the extent possible, as many other organisations and individuals, on this overwhelming day. Together with the help of social media experts Alexandre Alaphillipe and Sylvain Lapoix, we created the #OpenHouse hashtag to help people who were stranded in Brussels find shelter in other people's homes. It was shared in conjunction with #PorteOuverte, created by Sylvain and used during the Paris attacks in November 2015. People responded with great solidarity opening their homes to those in need, with the hashtag being shared widely both on Twitter and Facebook. The power of social media during crises was once again shown.

Tragedies like this motivate us to work harder. In only 2 weeks, we are going to debate on these issues at the EENA Conference 2016, during sessions like the “Use of social media during the Paris attacks”, and a “Twitter workshop for emergency services”. We invite you to join us in Prague on 6-8 April and discuss with the other attendees the way forward.

Let us finish by thanking the Belgian emergency services who, faced with a great challenge, worked tirelessly to protect us all.

PS: The solidarity hashtag #OpenHouse is the result of 3 French, 1 Greek and 1 Irish working together. We love Europe, we love Belgium, we love Brussels.

Useful links:

CNN: “#prayforbrussels: World mourns with cartoons and open doors”

BBC: “Brussels terror: #OpenHouse and #PorteOuvert being used to offer help to those in need”

Buzzfeed: “Brussels Commuters Are Helping Each Other Find Shelter By Using The #OpenHouse Hashtag

Business Insider: “Belgians are using Twitter to offer aid to people stranded by the Brussels terror attacks”

New Europe: "People in the Belgian capital are coming together though social media, to offer shelter and rides to those who need help."