Archives for April 2014

#SMEMau Australian Disasters – 2nd Annual #SMEMchat Special Event

Guest Post by: Joanna Lane, Virtual Operations Support Group (VOSG)

Open Invitation

Injured wombat and kangaroo


On Twitter, event hashtag: #SMEMau

For those new to twitter, follow the discussion at or search for the #SMEMau hashtag


Friday 9th May 2014 – 0900 to 1030 Australia AET

Thursday 8th May 2014 – 1900 to 2030 US EDT

For other time zones:

The purpose of the #SMEMau Special Event is to create an open learning forum about the role of Social Media in Emergency Management in Australia and to assist Australia to become a more proactive, disaster resilient country. Challenges in Emergency Management (AU) include:

  • Incorporating social media into catastrophic and large-scale events
  • Maintaining situational awareness in complex environments
  • Coordinated operations and integrated doctrine
  • Exploring models (such as VOST) to surge capability and capacity
  • Exploring partnerships with NGO & private sector

Map Jan 2014 BOMParticipants are invited to share lessons learned, accomplishments and new initiatives in the context of all incidents including recent wildfire, cyclone, tsunami and other severe weather events, from across Australia and beyond.

  • To provide clarification of the effectiveness of social media in disasters and its contribution to relief across the full spectrum of preparedness, response, and recovery mission efforts.
  • To provide participants direct insight from practitioners “directly engaged on the ground” in Australia as to how and when Social Media is being employed in their efforts.
  • To provide participants a forum to ask questions and offer comments or solicit additional feedback in real time based on their understanding of how Social Media is being implemented.
  • To identify best practices and share lessons learned in the use of Social Media in a regional or nationally significant catastrophic event.
  • To demonstrate the use of real-time Twitter search to find disaster traffic, as proposed by Project Self-Serve.

10415767646_15928ae175_bAt the conclusion of this #SMEMau Special Event participants will gain new insight into the utility of Social Media in Emergency Management and understand how and when it can be most effectively utilized based on a real world event. New techniques, learned over the last 12 months, will be shared.

Participants will better understand the barriers and challenges to the effective use of Social Media and how; or if those obstacles can be successfully overcome while simultaneously managing a regional or nationally significant catastrophic event.

Based on the insight and knowledge gained through engaging in this #SMEMau Special Event, participants will be better prepared to plan and execute a Social Media Emergency Management Strategy and Plan in their local areas for disasters which they are directly impacted by or responsible for.

Participants will recognize the benefit and value of #SMEMau as a premier source of information, knowledge, and insight into the emerging and evolving field of Social Media in Emergency Management, and will return often to both participate and contribute, and expand the base of participation by inviting those in their own networks to become involved and participate as well.

Who Should Attend

13782083785_530c785cec_bAnyone curious about or engaged in social media for emergency management in all phases of emergency and disaster, including:

  • emergency managers
  • public information officers
  • media journalists and bloggers
  • SMEM and VOST practitioners, consultants and trainers
  • social media operators
  • health professionals and hospital crisis managers
  • media liaison staff
  • councils / shires
  • animal welfare agencies
  • elected officials from VIC / NSW / QLD / TAS / SA / WA / NT / ACT
  • non-government organisations
  • digital volunteers
  • technology partners

Please use this form to submit questions in advance:

Further Reading

Links to what we did last year. 2013 #SMEMau Australia Bushfires Complete Archives: 2013 Storify:

vosglogo-120hVOSG 2014 Event Committee: Joanna Lane, Robert Dunne, Brad Lemon, Daniel Eshuis, Eileen Culleton, Caroline Milligan, Cedric Moro, Nathan Hunerwadel, Lise St. Denis

Please join us!

Photo Credits

Injured wombat and kangaroo joeys rescued from the Riddles Creek fire convalesce at Pastoria East Wildlife shelter. Picture: Rob Leeson Source: News Limited:

Map Jan 2014: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Bushfires Oct 2013:

Tropical Cyclone Ita Off-Shore Queensland, Australia: NASA/NOAA via NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory Credit: NASA/NOAA via NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory