#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  http://www.htbox.org/ 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 http://bit.ly/SMEMDir

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

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We’re crowdsourcing ideas for our Strategic Plan!

Flickr Lyn Friedman

Flickr Lyn Friedman

We’re crowdsourcing ideas for our Strategic Plan and we’d love to hear yours!

To coincide with our upcoming 2nd birthday on 8 December, we’ve released our Draft Strategic Plan and shared it as a Google Doc. To capture your ideas and feedback we’ve created a Google Doc Feedback Form.

We will publicly acknowledge all who participated when we publish the final strategic plan.

Flickr Randy Le'Moine

Flickr Randy Le’Moine

Our Vision

To help build resilient communities empowered with the knowledge to use social media to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

What we believe
Social media, disaster apps

Social media & disaster apps on cellphone

We believe that together we can help create a world where during emergencies and disasters, communities use social media to save their own lives and the lives of others.

  • Where emergency services use social media to issue alerts and warnings
  • Where emergency services engage with the community as partners
  • Where the community is prepared, including people with a disability
  • Where digital volunteers from across the globe provide ‘information aid’ during and after disasters
  • Where the community helps the community recover
  • Checkout our future scenarios for what this could look like in action.
Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community via TweepsMap

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community via TweepsMap

Who we are

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is a nonprofit driven entirely by volunteers. Our volunteers form a global, online, collaborative community of professionals and organisations drawn from emergency services, government, NGO’s, business, health, education and media, sharing their knowledge to help create resilient communities.

We utilise the Wiki, this Blog, Twitter, a LinkedIn Group, Google +, YouTube, Slideshare, Skype, Google+ Hangouts and Google Docs to communicate, collaborate, crowdsource and co-create.

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)The 4 key areas of focus for our Strategic Plan are:
  1. Become financially & operationally viable
  2. Increase participation & collaboration
  3. Increase reach
  4. Increase content
 Timeframe: Sunday 8 December (AEDT)

The Draft Strategic Plan is open for your ideas and feedback via the Feedback Form for two weeks. The deadline is Sunday 8 December (AEDT). Please share this post with people you believe could add value to this process.  It takes a global community to maintain the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, so we are looking forward to your ideas. Thank you in advance!

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Other ways you can become involved

We thought now would also be a good time to invite you to become more involved. Our How to Help page outlines lots of options. Here are a few:

  • Join one of our Reference Groups to help lead the content development of the Wiki.
  • Join a Wiki Work Team to help drive key areas such as marketing and communications, education and training, library and research
  • Become a Pro bono partner. We are seeking pro bono partnerships for Accounting Services, Marketing and Communications and other services

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki community are an inspirational group of people helping create resilient communities across the globe. Many thanks to all of you and we look forward to your continued support for a successful year three!

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary)

Join us to highlight disability on International Day for Disaster Reduction #iddr

We invite you to join us in highlighting the issue of disability this International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October) by participating in a Thunderclap and helping promote our Accessibility Toolkit. The focus of #idrr is on the one billion people around the world who live with some form of disability.

By joining the Thunderclap social media campaign you will be helping the UNISDR to amplify and promote IDDR on 13 October. By signing up with Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr you will be a part of spreading the word simultaneously across the globe!

Graphic of disability symbols showing a person in a wheelchair, a profile of a head showing the brain inside, hands doing sign language and a person walking with a caneAs part of  #iddr we will be promoting the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Accessibility Toolkit and invite you to help spread the word about this lifesaving resource by sharing this post, re-tweeting our tweets, +1′ng our Google+ post and linking to the toolkit in your posts.

The Accessibility Toolkit helps people with disabilities to use social media to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. The toolkit provides tips, resources and apps to help people with a disability to overcome accessibility challenges of social media.

The kit also includes guidelines to assist the emergency sector, government, community, media and business to make social media messages more accessible.

This resource is vital because we’ve witnessed from recent disasters that while social media can save lives, people with disabilities often have difficulty accessing important messages because the social media platforms themselves are inaccessible. It’s vitally important that people with disabilities, who are the most vulnerable in our communities during emergencies, are empowered to access instant, lifesaving messages through social media and the accessibility toolkit enables this.

Image of the engage app logo on the screens of a Blackberry, iPhone and Android phone

Engage app for deaf and hearing impaired that delivers emergency alerts

Accessibility resources on the wiki include:

  • Tips and guides for people with disabilities on how to access social media
  • Emergency smartphone apps for people with a disability
  • Apps and assistive technologies to access social media
  • Emergency Preparedness YouTube videos that are either captioned or use sign language for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Practical guidelines to assist the emergency sector, government, community, media and business to make social media messages more accessible

In a whole of community approach, the Accessibility Reference Group crowdsourced the content globally using social media. The group consist of professionals drawn from the emergency, government, NGO and business sectors in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Accessibility Reference Group Leader, Charlie Carter

Accessibility Reference Group Leader Charlie Carter

We’re looking to expand the group to include representation from each continent, so if you are from Europe, Asia, South America or Africa and you are working in the social media/accessibility field, please email me at charlie@webbism.com.

We’d love your feedback on the kit. If you know of a resource we should add, please let us know.

Many Thanks,

Charlie Carter, Wiki Accessibility Reference Group Leader

Twitter launches emergency alerts

TwitteralertsFema screenshotWe are excited to share the news that Twitter has launched “Twitter Alerts” to enable official agencies to issue emergency alerts during times of crisis.

Users who sign up for an agency’s Twitter alerts will receive emergency messages directly to their mobile phone via a text message, push notification or highlighted Tweet.

The ability to issue Twitter Alerts via this service is available free to local, national and international institutions that provide critical information to the general public such as:

  • Law enforcement and public safety agencies
  • Emergency management agencies
  • City and municipal governments as well as their agencies and representatives
  • County and regional agencies, providing services to cities and municipalities
  • And select state, federal and national agencies and NGOs.

Agencies need to first apply (and update their security) and once approved they will then have the Alerts feature displayed on their Twitter profile which followers can click to sign up as indicated below:

Twitteralertsfema

Agencies will also receive a custom url to promote to their constituents to signup eg https://twitter.com/fema/alerts. This is critical as followers will not automatically receive Twitter Alerts – they must sign up for the service. The agency will have the Alert function available to them when they are signed in to Twitter, which they can then activate in times of emergency for specific tweets. The service also operates from mobile devices.

So far participating agencies have signed up from the United States, Japan and Korea. Global nonprofits include the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and World Health Organization.

We have added this information to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki in our Tips for the Public and also our Guidelines for Emergency Agencies, Government, Community Agencies, Schools and Business section on Establishing Social Media Channels.

We  also plan to add the participating agencies to our Emergency 2.0 Wiki global directory and are calling for volunteers to help add the content and keep it updated. If you are interested in helping please contact us.

Please help spread the word about Twitter Alerts to accelerate global takeup of this vital lifesaving service.

Many thanks,

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary)

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