Wiki to present at global disaster forum

IDRC Davos 2014Exiting News! The Wiki has been accepted to present at the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (#IDRC2014) in Davos Switzerland 24-28 August. This conference is organised by the Global Risk Forum in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and is the largest world gathering of key players in this field.

IDRC Davos 2014 attempts to find solutions to today’s challenges by managing risks, reducing disasters and adapting to climate change.

Our topic will be “The importance of a whole of community approach to using social media for disaster resilience and how the Emergency 2.0 Wiki can help.”

We believe that together we can help create a world where communities use social media to save not only their own lives in a disaster, but also the lives of others. A world where:

  • Emergency services use social media to issue alerts and warnings to save lives
  • Emergency agencies engage with the community as partners
  • The community is prepared, including people with a disability
  • Digital volunteers from across the globe provide ‘information aid’ during and after disasters
  • The community reaches out to help the community

We believe this involves educating and empowering all sectors of the community: emergency services, the government, NGOs, community groups, faith based groups, schools, hospitals, business, media and citizens to understand that they can all play a role in using social media to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)We will be sharing best practice examples from around the world and showcasing how the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, a free global resource for using social media and new technologies in disasters, can help.

The Wiki serves as in information hub providing tips, guides, mobile apps, mapping tools, videos and an international directory of emergency services on social media. It has tips for citizens to help themselves and help others, an accessibility toolkit for people with disabilities and guidelines for emergency services, government, community groups and NGOs, schools, hospitals and business.

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Sponsorship Opportunity

We are offering the opportunity to sponsor the Emergency 2.0 Wiki’s presentation at #IDRC2014 and receive increased brand profile through a global social media campaign.

The three phase social media campaign (pre, during and post conference) will promote our participation, raise awareness of our key presentation messages and publicly recognise and thank our sponsors. We will utilise this blog, Twitter (@emergency20wiki), Google+, Emergency 2.0 LinkedIn Group, YouTube and Facebook (coming soon).

Sponsor logos will feature on the presentation which will be posted after the conference on the Wiki, the IDRC website and this blog.

Eileen Culleton presenting at Social Media In Times of Crisis Symposium 2014. Photographer Fiona Muirhead

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Founder & CEO Eileen Culleton presenting at Social Media In Times of Crisis National Symposium.

Conference Attendees

Over 1000 participants from 100 countries will be attending #IDRC2014. These include UN agents such as UNISDR and UNSESCO, NGOs, international organisations, private sector, risk management experts, practitioners, scientists, academic sector, key players from civil society and the media. The global social media spotlight will also be on the conference via the hashtag #IDRC2014.

If you are interested in sponsorship please contact me on

We are excited to have this opportunity to showcase the Emergency 2.0 Wiki on the world stage and make strategic contacts to form alliances with international bodies. It’s also a powerful opportunity to influence world policy: the outcomes will be presented at the UN World Conference WCDRR in Sendai Japan in March 2015 and aim to influence the post 2015 agenda such as the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the successor of the Kyoto Protocol.

We look forward to sharing our message on the global stage and helping countries better utilise social media to build disaster resilience.

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary role)
P.S. Together we can make our world safer… Thank You!
Image Credit: Social Media in Times of Crisis National Symposium, Eidos Institute Facebook. Photographer Fiona Muirhead.

Read Ahead: #SMEMau Australian Disasters Twitterchat Info 2014 May 8, 1900 to 2030 US EDT / May 9, 2014 0900 to 1030 AUS AET

Adjust for your time zone here: 90 minutes

This week, Virtual Operations Support Group will facilitate a discussion on the role of social media in the management of Australian emergencies and disasters. The first #SMEMau Special #SMEMchat event on Australian Bushfires, was hosted by VOSG in Jan 2013. Since then, the importance of new technology to manage all aspects of emergency and disaster communications most effectively has been a daily reminder. Latest hot topics include #VOST, Virtual EOCs (Emergency Operations Centres), Twitter Alerts, Digital Humanitarian Support and more, including the use of Partners tasked to help manage situational awareness and public engagement in complex environments. As this social convergence is taking place, what exactly is the role of new technology in Australia, how it developing and what are the challenges?

Join us on the #SMEMau tag as we explore the issues.

10 Questions (subject to change)

  1. How has the use of social media in emergency management in Australia changed in the past year?
  2. Social media lends itself well to community recovery. How can we encourage its use to enable people to help each other?
  3. Many people reach out for help with pets/livestock.  How does social media assist in the management of animals during disasters?
  4. Emergency hashtags are an often-overlooked component of a communication strategy. Is your organization prepared with an emergency hashtag strategy?
  5. Do you use infographics to communicate with the public?
  6. Do you use press releases and infographics during your activations to inform the press/ public?
  7. What social media tools do you provide the public to help them prepare for disasters?
  8. Do you engage digital volunteers during a disaster? If so who?
  9. What social media tools do you promote to help the public help themselves and each other in the recovery phase?
  10. Hot topics: UAV use, Twitter Alerts, Project Self-Serve and more.

Additional questions? You can submit those in advance here:

Further Information and useful AU Resources

The Australian Emergency Management Knowledge Hub provides research, resources and news relevant to Australian emergency management and includes statistics and information, photos, video and media about past disaster events.


The Tasmanian Government accepted 72 recommendations and approved-in-principle the remaining 31 recommendations; further consultation will decide how they are to be implemented. Of the 103 recommendations, 31 have been prioritised for immediate implementation and, where possible will be implemented before the end of 2013.

  • Recommendation #71: That Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Police review their use of modern forms of communication with the community,  including social media, and commit resources to fully use this capability where appropriate.
  • Recommendations #43: That emergency management plans specifically include processes for effectively engaging with local communities and using community resources, including volunteers.

Goals and Objectives (Click for complete information)

Q&A Format

Questions will be posted by @VOST1 using the convention Q1, Q2 etc. Since multiple conversations may be happening simultaneously, please preface your answer with A1, A2 etc. Answers can be given in real time or at a more convenient time and archives will be posted after the event.

With Thanks to Our Partners

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)
Project EPIC








VSOG #SMEMau Event Committee

Moderator: @VOST1 Facilitators: Joanna Lane @joannalane, Robert Dunne @Academy911, Daniel Eshuis @deshuis, Brad Lemon @tyabblemons, Caroline Milligan @Caz_Milligan, Eileen Culleton @eileenculleton, Nathan Hunerwadel, Cédric Moro @MORO_CEDRIC, Lise St. Denise

Photo Credits:

tags: #SMEMau, #em2au

#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

#SMEM Directory

Guest Post by: Catherine Graham, Humanity Road

wiki20SMEMWe have published our Humanity Road USA #SMEM directory!  There are over 3,000 counties in the USA – Finding the right information fast in disaster is important.  Our mission at Humanity Road is to connect the public to information they need on how to survive, sustain and reunite.  In pursuit of that Humanity Road has been collating information on official social media emergency management accounts and using this list at the onset of disaster.

We are pleased to announce that in partnership with Emergency 2.0 Wiki and through the Humanitarian Toolbox initiative in a hackathon held this weekend in Austin, TX this information has now been published to a public directory with Emergency 2.0 Wiki.  This is the first step in creating the USA #SMEM directory and it is the largest directory of its kind for USA based social media accounts.  As social media emergency management accounts grow, so will this directory.

Humanity Road is committed to preparedness, response and process improvement in response to disaster.  It’s through process improvement that we gain headway in mitigating loss of life and property and help catalyze the recovery.  In transitioning this important directory to the public domain we also are launching an SMEM Directory forum for page administration roles for each state and USA territories.   The following pages have been published:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Districts & Territories:  American SamoaDistrict of Columbia, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Minor Outlying Islands, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

As you can see it was a large undertaking! We wish to thank all those volunteers who have spent many many hours collecting this data and to the development team who gave up their weekend to make this directory a reality.  We extend a special thank you to Katelyn Keegan who initiated this project, and to Robin Smith who truly helped make it a reality through her many hours of research and tenacity.

Humanitarian Toolbox logoA big thank you to @ClearMeasure  @jeffreypalermo  @mattsell  @phredAustin in Austin Texas for hosting the hackathon that helped make it a reality as well as @EileenCulleton with @Emergency20wiki and @TonySurma with the Humanitarian Toolbox team.  The Humanitarian Toolbox project is proving that when disaster strikes, code saves lives! The Humanitarian Toolbox is a sustained effort to leverage technology and skilled volunteer communities to solve the needs of response organizations and communities affected by natural disasters.  The creation of this directory is a good example of the benefits that can be achieved through such a valuable program.

It’s important to maintain and grow the directory as the field of Social Media in emergency response grows.   If you are interested in being listed as your state liaison for the #SMEM Directory sign up here

A huge thanks to the volunteer team at Humanity Road for your daily commitment to humanity!

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