Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick update on the morning's activities at the SMEM camp in D.C.

First, I must say that the brain power here is fabulour, It was also great to have the FEMA administrator and his deputy here this morning. Really demonstrates the importance that they think social media has for the future of emergency management.

Some quick notes from the breakout sessions:

  1. first session on "getting started" in SM: key observations from James (@disasterguy) and Jim (@jgarrow on twitter) ... key is listening and monitoring first ,,, the old equation: Listen. Learn, Engage and then add Mobilize (for volunteers management for example, or for gathering/integrated date into your situational awareness/conmon operating picture ... a great example of the power of Twitter provided by @disasterguy re: tornado which was tracked by tweets and info shared ... and made available to EM agency ,,, even though nothing was yet available form 9-1-1 centre ...\
  2. second was on return on investment ... in the use of SM ,,, both for BCP and EM purposes ...there are different levels of use among agencies/jurisdictions but there's lots of evidence that the use of SM provides a very good ROI for organizations to contact key stakeholders during a crisis: employeesm clients and the public
  3. third ,,, a discussion on policy re: use of SM by agencies ,,, issues such as access throughout the organization ... one key debate: do you use a twitter account in routine situations to inform your audiences on emergency preparednessm training and the such ,,, and then switch to a different account when a disaster occurs ? or do you build an audience by using your account regularly so people will go there for info when a crisis erupts?
  4. a fourth session was on the value of volunteer-based social media endeavours that can support the EM community: crisis mapping and media monitoring for example ... some good recent examples on how a cloud-based collective can help monitor humanitarian disaster to help channel aid, develop crisis maps to better SitA/COP ... very good
  5. finally, a discussion on what opportunities and obstacles are brought by SM for improving SitA/COP ... lots of comments on validating info and ensuring a common approach among multiple jurisdiction on how SM is used and also integrated into EOCs
All very good stuff

More to come later


  1. Hey PC, what was the concensus on issue 3. Multiple or single twitter accounts. I am trying to get our city to have dedicated EM Alert channels (T&FB) that are only for pushing out EM Alerts and sit updates. Then Agent acounts for info sharing and collaboration eg. SMEM11 and then use current City accounts for public ed (get ur 72 hr kit today). So... any thoughts?

  2. there wasn't a consensus but i'd say the majority of people are for using the same accounts on which you have built a following and then "flip a switch" and use them for emergency info purposes during a disaster and/or crisis.

    Hope this helps!