Monday, December 17, 2012

At number 7: the launch of FEMA's SMEM course

It was the middle of the summer when the launch (re-launch?) of FEMA's IS-42 course: Social Media in Emergency Management, brought the SMEM community abuzz. Why do I believe it deserves the seventh spot in my list of top 10 SMEM-related events? 

Simple, IT'S FEMA! What they do influences many. No matter how people feel about "big government" ... leadership still counts. Under Craig Fugate's turn at the helm, FEMA has embraced outreach and the tools that foster citizen, volunteer and community involvement. From the launch of the new "whole of community" document earlier in the year, to promoting the use of social networks in emergencies, FEMA gets it.

If you add this to the guidelines from the DHS First Responders Communities of Practice/Virtual Social Media Working Group, the US feds are paving the way from some crucial change.

Is it done? By no means ... but some interesting work has been completed. Challenges remain: How will the IMS/NIMS doctrine be modified to be relevant in the age of "social convergence"? Does the very structure of command need to change

Perhaps these questions are too premature. Lots of ground needs to be covered ... many organizations still look at SMEM with some trepidation

But someone needs to lead the way. Even as a Canadian, I can see great value in FEMA's accomplishments in that regard.

Series introduction (Dec. 5,m 2012)
#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)

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