Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hurricane Irene and Social Media

It's finally here ... well, almost ... and we need your help!

Our draft Hurricane Irene Social Media After Action Report is now available for input and comments from anyone, especially the #smem community. 

At this point, it's imperative that the following people be recognized for their contribution:
  • Kim Stephens (@Kim26stephens on Twitter)
  • Heather Blanchard (@poplifegirl)
  • Jim Aleski (@JimAleski)
  • Scott Gauvin (@scottcgauvin)
  • Sara Estes Cohen (@saraestescohen)
  • Kate Starbird (@katestarbird)
  • Justin Kenney (@JustinNOAA)
(my apologies to whomever I may have forgotten ! )

You can find a copy of the draft here and we will welcome your comments and suggestions and own observations.
In particular, we welcome additions to the following sections: 
  • section 3.5 which deals with examples of contributions from citizens ... feel free to add your own work!
  • section 3.6 which highlights the use of social media and crisis mapping by legacy media and the private sector ... again, tell us your story or something you've found ...
  • section 4 where we need more instances of the use of SM, crisis mapping and crowdsourcing by gov't agencies at all levels.
  • in section 5, we'll take a look at whatever suggestion for improvement you may want to bring forward
  • section 6 is for any comments you may have that's relevant and respectful ... they can be critical of the use of SM during disasters but they MUST be made in appropriate ways 
You can send any comments, suggestions, additions to me at:

In the meantime, here's an excerpt from our conclusion, to help spur the debate and contributions from the community at-large:

This revolutionary trend toward the “age of social convergence” in emergency management, foretells of a future bright with closer collaboration between governments, agencies, volunteer organizations and ordinary citizens.

This closer relationship should contribute to build better prepared communities by harnessing the power of social networks as public education tools. It will also ensure responses more closely matched to the actual needs of people impacted by disasters who now have the ability to instantly share what they experience and what their needs are. Finally, mobile technologies and social networks have already proven their ability to help foster, create or strengthen communities affected by disasters and help speed up the recovery process.

We believe that these observations have proven true again in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, It is our hope that this document can help provide stronger arguments to convince executives and elected officials about the need to integrate social media and the extraordinary contribution of volunteers and citizens, in all aspects of local, state and even federal emergency planning activities, response operations, exercise programs and recovery efforts.

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