New UN global framework for disaster risk reduction contains social media

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the opening of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the opening of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan

Success! We are thrilled to report that the new United Nations global framework for disaster risk reduction, ratified in Sendai, Japan, now contains social media!

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan, last week, now incorporates social media.

This is an exciting outcome, which we believe will have a great impact on the global acceleration of the use of social media for disaster resilience, leading to substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, property and livelihoods and a faster, stronger recovery.

We are also celebrating because the Emergency 2.0 Wiki helped influence this outcome through our presentation and recommendations to the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference Davos (IDRC2014), which provided the science and technology input toward the new Framework.

Our key recommendations and correlating Framework outcomes (bold emphasis added) are below:

Wiki Recommendation: Incorporate social media into mainstream emergency communications

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Priority 1. Understanding Disaster Risk
  1. (m) Promote national strategies to strengthen public education and awareness in disaster risk reduction, including disaster risk information and knowledge, through campaigns, social media and community mobilization, taking into account specific audiences and their needs.
  1. (c) Strengthen the utilization of media, including social media, traditional media, big data and mobile phone networks to support national measures for successful disaster and risk communication, as appropriate and in accordance with national laws.
  1. (b) Invest in, develop, maintain and strengthen people-centred multi-hazard, multisectoral forecasting and early warning systems, disaster risk and emergency communications mechanisms, social technologies and hazard monitoring telecommunications systems.

In addition to this, although no specific mention was made of social media in the following outcomes, we were delighted to see the Framework incorporate the essence of many of our other recommendations including:

Wiki Recommendation: Take a whole of community partnership approach

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Guiding Principles
  1. (d) Disaster risk reduction requires an all of society engagement and partnership.
Priority 2: Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  1. (h) Empower local authorities, as appropriate, through regulatory and financial means, to work and coordinate with civil society, communities and indigenous peoples and migrants in disaster risk management at the local level.
Role of stakeholders
  1. …. Non-state stakeholders play an important role as enablers in providing support to States… their commitment, goodwill, knowledge, experience and resources will be required.
  1. (a) Civil society, volunteers, organized voluntary work organisations and community based organisations to participate, in collaboration with public institutions…. In the development and implementation of normative frameworks, standards and plans for disaster risk reduction; engage in the implementation of local, national, regional and global plans and strategies: contribute to and support public awareness, a culture of prevention and education on disaster risk; and advocate for resilient communities and an inclusive, all-of-society disaster risk management which strengthen the synergies across groups as appropriate.

Wiki Recommendation: Capacity build the community – provide education and information

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Priority 1: Understanding Disaster Risk
  1. (g) Build the knowledge of government officials at all levels, civil society, communities and volunteers, as well as the private sector, through sharing experiences, lessons learned, good practices and training and education on disaster risk reduction, including the use of existing training education mechanisms and peer learning.
Priority 4: Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and the “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction
  1. (f) Train the existing workforce and voluntary workers in disaster response and strengthen technical and logistical capacities to ensure better response in emergencies..
  1. (d) Media to: … stimulate a culture of prevention and strong community involvement in sustained public education campaigns…

Wiki Recommendation: Empower the community – provide tools and platforms

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Guiding Principles
  1. (f) While the enabling, guiding and coordinating role of national and federal State Governments remain essential, it is necessary to empower local authorities and local communities to reduce disaster risk, including through resources, incentives and decision making responsibilities, as appropriate;
Priority 1: Understanding disaster risk
  1. (c) Develop, update periodically and disseminate, as appropriate, location and disaster risk information, including risk maps, to decision makers, the general public and communities at risk to disaster in an appropriate format by using, as applicable, geospatial information technology;
  1. (f) Promote real-time access to reliable data, make use of space and in situ information, including geographic information systems (GIS), and use information and communications technology innovations to enhance measurement tools and the collection, analysis and dissemination of data.

Wiki Recommendation: Empower people with a disability by providing accessible information:

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Guiding Principles
  1. (d) Disaster risk reduction requires an all of society engagement and partnership. It also requires empowerment and inclusive, accessible and nondiscriminatory participation…. A gender, age, disability and cultural perspective in all policies and practices;

Wiki Recommendation: The need for agencies to work more closely with digital volunteer groups:

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Guiding Principles
  1. (d) … special attention should be paid to the improvement of organized voluntary work of citizens;
Priority 1: Understanding disaster risk
  1. (o) Enhance collaboration among people at the local level to disseminate risk information through the involvement of community based organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Priority 2: Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  1. (h) Empower local authorities, as appropriate, through regulatory and financial means to work and coordinate with civil society, communities and indigenous peoples and migrants in disaster risk management at the local level;

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the efforts of the many participants from the global disaster risk reduction community who also advocated for these outcomes.

We look forward to helping the international community implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 and utilise social media and new technologies to make our world more disaster resilient.

Many thanks,

Eileen Culleton, Founder and CEO (voluntary), Emergency 2.0 Wiki

Related Links and Articles:

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.pdf

#IDRC2014… we came, we saw, we shared with the world

Emergency 2.0 Wiki article in Global Risk Forum Davos Planet @ Risk, Volume 3, No 1, Special Issue on the IDRC Davos Outcomes, for the Post 2015 Framework for DRR

Imagine a world where using social media for disaster resilience is the social norm

Image Credit: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the opening of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Image via UNISDR Flickr under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Imagine a world where using social media for disaster resilience is the social norm

 

Preparathon FB postImagine a world where using social media for disaster resilience is the social norm. Where the whole community joins together to use social media to help prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, resulting in more lives saved, properties protected and faster community recovery.

Imagine a world where emergency services, government, NGOs, schools, hospitals, community groups, media, business and citizens use social media to inform, share and collaborate to face emergencies and disasters.

Citizens promoting resilience

Imagine a world where in the leadup to disaster seasons such as floods, the whole community uses social media to raise awareness and share preparedness plans with their friends, family and workplaces. A great example of this is America’s Preparathon! a nationwide, community based campaign by Ready.gov to increase emergency preparedness. A key strategy is TweetChats (see above).

Another key strategy is providing disaster preparedness social media toolkits for the community to use for social media sharing. See this Facebook post encouraging people to share flood safety in their community by downloading a flood safety toolkit with suggested Tweets, Facebook posts and graphics:

Floodsafety social media kit 2015-02-28_14-47-48
Empowering people with disabilities

Imagine a world where people with a disability use social media to better prepare for and respond to disasters and where the accessibility issues of using social media no longer exist. We created the Wiki Accessibility Toolkit with tips to help people with a disability overcome social media issues and to help agencies ensure their social media messages are accessible:

Wiki accessibility toolkit

Sending Twitter Alerts directly to mobile phones

Imagine a world where emergency agencies in all countries send Twitter Alerts with urgent warning messages directly to citizen’s mobile phones. Unlike a normal tweet which can be missed, in times of emergency and disaster agencies can use Twitter Alerts to send push notifications to the mobile phones of those who signup. Here is an example of a Twitter Alert by the Queensland Police warning residents to evacuate ahead of Cyclone Marcia:

Providing multi-disaster smartphone apps that alert and empower

Imagine a world where every country has a free multi-disaster smartphone app that issues push notification warnings based on geolocation, empowers citizens to act as early warning detectors, offers live tweets from key official agencies, information on how to prepare for disasters, maps pinpointing evacuation shelters, that empowers citizens to share their own photos and videos from the disaster zone and to ask for or offer assistance with emergency relief.

While we can’t yet point you to a disaster app with all these features (if you know of one please contact us and we’ll add it to our global apps directory), we believe it’s possible because there are mobile disaster apps containing many of these features, such as the US Government Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) app below which provides disaster preparedness information, evacuation shelter lists, access to live tweets from official agencies, and enables citizens to share their own share images from disaster zones:

Fema crowdsource relief app 2014-08-26_7-25-27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia’s EmergencyAus smartphone app also has a number of these features such as multi-disaster alerts, push notification warnings based on geolocation, empowering citizens to act as early warning detectors including sharing photos from the scene, and to ask for or offer emergency relief. NB: this is not an official government app:

Emergency Aus app screenshot 2015

Crowdsourcing information

Imagine a world where emergency services partner with the community to crowdsource localized information from citizens. Where along with providing mobile apps enabling citizen information sharing, they also provide online crowdmaps with emergency information, which easily enable posting by the community via text, Tweet or email. For example this Tweet by Brisbane City Council promotes a crowdmap they created during the Queensland Floods in Australia in 2013 using a free user-friendly crowdmap provided by Ushahidi:

BCCfloodcrowdmaptweet 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health services alerting to  pandemics and disaster response

Imagine if agencies in all countries used social media to instantly broadcast pandemic alerts and warnings to citizens, including information on how to prevent the spread of infection. For example with the Ebola outbreak, Nigeria agencies successfully used Twitter and Facebook to send alerts and infection control information to quickly contain the outbreak:

EbolaAlert, a nonprofit and volunteer lead initiative were key to this, and after their success in Nigeria they are operating in the other Ebola affected African countries.

Imagine a world where health services in every country use social media during disasters to alert the community to important updates such as hospital evacuations and closures, updates to patient’s families and to employees on reporting for work. See these tweets by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation during Hurricane Sandy that struck the US in 2012:

nycsandyhospitaltweets - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a tweet from Queensland Health on restoration of power to key hospitals after the recent Tropical Cyclone Marcia that struck northern Australia:

Digital volunteers provide information aid

Imagine a world where digital volunteers specialising in disaster response were utilised by all countries to provide ‘information aid’, helping emergency services monitor social media, respond to calls for help and map damage. The Digital Humanitarian Network (see below), Humanity Road and Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOST) are doing great work around the world assisting emergency service agencies in times of emergencies and disaster.

DHNetwork Activations Map 2015-02-27_17-04-08

 

Empowering communities to directly help each other in recovery

Imagine a world where in the recovery phase, social media, mobile apps and crowdmaps are used to empower communities to directly help one another by donating and accessing relief supplies, accommodation and volunteer help. Below is an example of a crowdmap for disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy 2013:

Hurricane Sandy Recovery Crowdmap

 

Together we can create this world!

We believe that together we can create such a world, because as we have demonstrated, there are examples of this already happening.

But we still have a long way to go before using social media for disaster resilience becomes a social norm… where the whole of the community: emergency services, government, NGOs, hospitals, schools, community groups, business, media and citizens join together to use social media to inform, share and collaborate to face emergencies and disasters.

Capacity building and empowerment

We believe what is needed is capacity building by providing the ‘know how’ for using social media and new technologies in the disaster context, and empowerment by providing access to the tools to enable the community to help themselves and each other.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki, as an online global information hub and collaborative knowledge sharing model crowdsourcing the latest technology and best practices for using social media for disaster resilience, is committed to capacity building and empowering communities.

The wiki has tips and resources for citizens, emergency agencies, local government, schools, hospitals, NGOs, community groups and business to use social media to better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. We encourage you to use the resources, adapt our tips for your own messaging and link to us.

We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and join our LinkedIn group.

Changing policy

We believe that governments also need policy change to ensure agencies integrate social media into emergency management and disaster resilience and we are advocating for this. We also believe this policy change needs to incorporate a whole of community partnership approach to using social media for disaster resilience. Watch this space for a report on the anticipated inclusion of social media in the new global disaster framework to be ratified at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) to be held in Sendai City in Japan this week 14-18 March.

We made recommendations for the technological input toward the post 2015 framework via a special conference, the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC Davos 2014) coordinated by the Global Risk Forum in collaboration with the UNISDR. We encourage you to add your voice to the online policy debate for WCDRR via #WCDRR and #Road2sendai.

We need you!

Thewikineedsyou

Volunteers

Social media and new technology is changing so rapidly that what is best practice today for using social media in emergencies and disasters is not best practice tomorrow. It’s why the Emergency 2.0 Wiki is such an important resource – we save people time trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ by providing up to date information and tips on using the new technologies in the emergency context.

As a volunteer driven non profit, we are always on the lookout for volunteers keen to share their knowledge and to help us drive and promote the wiki. See How to Help for more information.

Alliances

We are looking to increase our knowledge sharing alliances with like-minded organisations. For more information please contact our CEO Eileenculleton@gmail.com

Sponsors

We are looking for sponsors to partner with us to support our operations and to deliver key initiatives such as our proposed Community Resilience Toolkit and Business Resilience Toolkit. To discuss please contact our CEO Eileenculleton@gmail.com.

Pro bono partners

We are seeking pro bono partners to provide accounting, web and graphic design services. To discuss please contact our CEO Eileenculleton@gmail.com.

Our Strategic Plan

Want to know more about where we are headed? Here’s a link to our Strategic Plan that we developed ‘wiki style’, by incorporating ideas crowdsourced from the online community.  We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who put forward their ideas.

Thank you

Thank you to our Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community who help us provide this vital resource including our volunteers, reference group members, alliance partners, pro bono partners and board members. We look forward to working with the global community in 2015 in helping make social media for disaster resilience a social norm.

Many thanks,

Eileen Culleton, Founder and CEO (voluntary)

p.s. Together we can create a world where using social media for disaster resilience is a social norm
p.p.s. Follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+
 
Links

Future scenarios

#IDRC2014… we came, we saw, we shared with the world

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Thank You!

Christmas Lights

We would like to wish our global Emergency 2.0 Wiki community a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year and say a big Thank You for helping us build resilient communities empowered with the knowledge to use social media in emergencies.

Sharing information and resources

Thank you to all who shared tips, news, links, apps, guidelines, research reports and other resources.

Promoting the wiki

Thank you to those who helped raise awareness of the wiki by posting links to the wiki, blogging about us and sharing our tweets, blog, Facebook and Google+ posts.

Reference Group members

Thank you to our Reference Group members for helping us develop content on the wiki and for promoting the wiki to your networks.

Alliance and collaboration partners

Thank you to our knowledge sharing alliance partners Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Australasian Chapter, the Risk Management Institution of Australasia (RMIA), and Partnerships Toward Safer Communities (PTSC-Online – Canada).

We would also like to thank VOSG (Virtual Operations Support Group for inviting us to partner with them to deliver the #SMEMau Australian Disasters Twitter Chat and Humanity Road for their leadership in managing the USA Directory on the wiki global directory.

Pro bono Partners

Thank you to our pro bono partners who freely provide their services to the Wiki: our auditors Bentleys, web host Mammoth Media, lawyers HWL Ebsworth and NFP Lawyers and our WordPress Site designer, Joanna Lane (also a wiki reference group member and NYVOST Team Lead).

Event Sponsors

We would like to thank Emergency Management Australia, of the Australian Attorney General’s Department, for sponsoring our presentation at the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference #IDRC2014 organised by the Global Risk Forum in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). Through this conference we also shaped future world policy, making recommendations towards the development of the Post 2015 Disaster Risk Reduction Framework which will be ratified at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan in March 2015.

We also thank our other many supporters who contributed to make our participation at #IDRC2014 a reality.

We wish you a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year and look forward to working with you in 2015 to help build disaster resilient communities.

With warmest wishes and lots of cheer,

Eileen Culleton, Founder and CEO (voluntary)

p.s. Together we are making a difference to build disaster resilience and save lives.
p.p.s. Follow us on Facebook

#IDRC2014 – Emergency 2.0 Wiki sponsor storify report

#IDRC2014 presThe Emergency 2.0 Wiki presentation at the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference in Davos Switzerland (#IDRC2014) 26-28 August 2014 was made possible thanks to sponsorship by Emergency Management Australia. Here is a Storify report on how we thanked them on social media.