It's one thing to highlight an emerging trend but it's quite another to actually seize the opportunity and ensure your organization meets the coming challenges. That's what the American Red Cross did in 2012 with the opening of their Digital Operations Centre with the assistance of Dell.
This was done amid great (and well deserved) fanfare and attracted a lot of attention to the need to monitor social media during disasters.
The DOC certainly was "battle tested" in the few months since it was set up: tornadoes in the spring, Hurricane Isaac and then the big one: superstorm Sandy.
For those who think there's no need to monitor social media during a disaster; who think it's a distraction from your response and operations ... You're wrong! Social media monitoring is now an essential part of any EOC or ICP operations cycle.
The American Red Cross has led the way again. Their digital response during Sandy will bring many lessons that we can all use but it transcended operations when one particular "volunteer" paid a visit to their DOC.
All I can say is: job well done to Wendy Harman, Gloria Huang and all others who are behind this great success story which occupies the number two spot in my list of top 10 smem-related events of 2012.
The series so far:
#10: the Israel-Hamas War (Dec. 9, 2012)
#9: the wildfires in the western US (Dec. 12, 2012)
#8: the SMEMTO conference (Dec. 16, 2012)
#7: the lauch of FEMA's SMEM course (Dec. 17, 2012)