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

We are pleased to share highlights of our presentation to the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference #IDRC2014 at Davos Switzerland 24-28 August 2014, organised by the Global Risk Forum in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

We were excited to have this opportunity to showcase the Emergency 2.0 Wiki on the world stage, share our message on how countries can build disaster resilience through a whole of community approach to using social media, and also influence future world policy.

It was a powerful opportunity to share how our work had supported the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, and to influence future world policy, making recommendations for the Post 2015 Disaster Risk Reduction Framework to be ratified at the UN World Conference WCDRR in Sendai Japan in 2015. We did this via our presentation, an extended abstract, a personal statement and a video Red Chair Statement.

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)How our work supported the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action:

  • Priority 1: Promoting community participation and social networking
  • Priority 2: Providing guidance on how to act on early warnings via social media
  • Priority 3, 5: Facilitating exchange of information on good practices and lessons learned
  • Priority 4: Providing a social media accessibility toolkit for people with disabilities

csm_idrc2014_6fe511616eRecommendations to address the main gaps, needs and further steps to be addressed in the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in:

  • Research: provide practical recommendations for using social media, lessons learned, short timeframes to ensure relevance
  • Education & Training: capacity build communities to use social media
  • Implementation & Practice: provide social media tools and platforms to enable the community to help themselves and each other
  • Policy: apply a whole of community approach to using social media in disasters, recognising the potential for social media to make resilience a social norm

Red Chair Statement

To view our submission documents, please visit our policy submission page.

Our presentation

Our presentation topic was “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 social media can play a transformative role in making disaster resilience a social norm. Social media offers the potential to help create a level of resilience that ensures communities don’t just ‘bounce back’ after a disaster, but ‘bounce forward’, becoming stronger with increased social networks, social cohesion and social capital.

This requires a ‘whole of community approach’ in which the community becomes partners in using social media for disaster resilience. We explained how along with emergency response agencies, all sectors of the community: local government, schools, hospitals, ngos, community groups, faith based groups, service clubs, business and citizens; have a role to play in disaster resilience, showcasing examples from around the world.

We also made special mention of the vital role of digital volunteers.

We emphasised the need for capacity building and to provide the social media tools to empower the community to help themselves & others in disasters #IDRC2014:

This involved highlighting the importance of empowering people with a disability to overcome social media accessibility issues to access alerts, and we showcased our social media accessibility toolkit for resilience:

Strategic Contacts

We also made strategic contacts for potential future alliances and projects. Watch this space for updates…

With thanks to our Sponsor
EMA - Stacked (3)

 

 


 

AEMKH_logo

 

 

 

We would like to thank our major sponsor, Emergency Management Australia, part of the Australian Attorney General’s Department, for making our presence at #IDRC2014 possible.

We also thank our other numerous supporters who also contributed to make this a reality.

We look forward to continuing to help the international community use social media to ensure disaster resilience becomes a social norm.

Many thanks,

Eileen

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary role)

p.s. Thank you to everyone who supported our participation in #IDRC2014… together we are making a difference to build disaster resilience and save lives.
p.p.s. Follow us on Facebook

Countdown to presenting at global disaster forum #IDRC2014

csm_idrc2014_6fe511616eWe’re counting down the days until we present on the world stage at the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (#IDRC2014) in Davos Switzerland on 27 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 (24-28 August) attempts to find solutions to today’s challenges by managing risks, reducing disasters and adapting to climate change.

Importantly, it is a powerful opportunity to influence world policy. As a speaker we will be making recommendations for the Post 2015 Disaster Risk Reduction Framework to be ratified at the UN World Conference WCDRR in Sendai Japan in 2015.

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.”

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)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 that social media can play a transformative role in making disaster resilience a social norm. Social media offers the potential to help create a level of resilience that ensures communities don’t just ‘bounce back’ after a disaster, but ‘bounce forward’, becoming stronger with increased social networks, social cohesion and social capital. This requires a ‘whole of community approach’ in which the community becomes partners in using social media for disaster resilience.

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

With thanks to our Sponsor

EMA - Stacked (3)

 

 

 

 

AEMKH_logo

 

 

 

We would like to thank our major sponsor, Emergency Management Australia, part of the Australian Attorney General’s Department, for making our presence at #IDRC2014 possible.

A great development from Australia in recent years has been the Australian Emergency Management Knowledge Hub. The Knowledge Hub provides research, resources and news to assist evidence-based decision making for the emergency management community nationally and internationally. For a vast range of disaster related multimedia and historical information on events such as bushfires, heatwaves, floods, environmental incidents, cyclones, epidemics, earthquakes and landslides, visit the Knowledge Hub and follow them on Twitter on @AEMKH.

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO Emergency 2.0 Wiki, Social Media in Times of Crisis Forum

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO Emergency 2.0 Wiki, Social Media in Times of Crisis Forum

We are excited to have this opportunity to showcase the Emergency 2.0 Wiki on the world stage and share our message on how countries can build disaster resilience through a whole of community approach to using social media.

We also look forward to making strategic contacts to form alliances with international bodies.

Join the conversation on the conference via the hashtag #IDRC2014.

We’re now on Facebook

FB_FindUsOnFacebook-144 - Copy

 

We’re now on Facebook, so please like us and share with your networks!

Cheers,

Eileen

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary role)

PS. Together we can make our world safer…

Image Credit: Social Media in Times of Crisis National Symposium, Eidos Institute Facebook. Photographer Fiona Muirhead.

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 eileenculleton@gmail.com.

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.

Cheers,
Eileen
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

emknowledge.gov.au=third-draft-blog-size-1300-x-460Thurs May 8, 1900 to 2030 US EDT / May 9, 2014 0900 to 1030 AUS AET

Adjust for your time zone here: www.timeanddate.com 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: http://bit.ly/1tzmTsY

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.

2013 TASMANIAN BUSHFIRE INQUIRY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESPONSE

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

VOST Vic

 

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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: http://www.emknowledge.gov.au/media/69495/third-draft-blog-size-1300-x-460.jpg


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

Where

On Twitter, event hashtag: #SMEMau

For those new to twitter, follow the discussion at http://bit.ly/RPe6ow or search for the #SMEMau hashtag

When

Friday 9th May 2014 – 0900 to 1030 Australia AET

Thursday 8th May 2014 – 1900 to 2030 US EDT

For other time zones: www.timeanddate.com

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.

Goals
  • 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.
Objectives

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
Questions

Please use this form to submit questions in advance: http://bit.ly/1tzmTsY

Further Reading

Links to what we did last year. 2013 #SMEMau Australia Bushfires Complete Archives: http://bit.ly/14mtmuJ 2013 Storify: http://bit.ly/Pxk8rU

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:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/bushfire-watch-warnings-remain-in-place-across-victoria-as-bushfires-continue-to-burn/story-fnl2cq7o-1226821646947

Map Jan 2014: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Bushfires Oct 2013: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/10415767646/in/set-72157636648984283/

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  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!

Related articles

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)

Related Articles

Imagine a world of resilient communities empowered to use social media in disasters #2030NOW

Image courtesy Emergency 2.0 Australia Project

Image courtesy Emergency 2.0 Australia Project

Right now a global conversation is taking place online via #2030NOW about what kind of world we want in 2030.

Instigated by the Social Good Summit (22-24 September) in New York, with meetups around the globe, leading experts, advocates and innovators are sharing their ideas on how social media and technology can address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

SocialGoodSummit_Logo_2013_bWe’re adding our voice to the discussion, sharing ideas on how we can all help build resilient communities empowered to use social media in disasters. As well as taking part in the Twitter conversation, we’ll also be highlighting our article published on Plus Social Good, a community linked to the Summit. Please see the excerpt below:

“Imagine a world where during a disaster everyone knows how to use social media to save their own lives and the lives of others.

Where the whole of the community: emergency services, government, NGOs, community groups, business, media and citizens use social media to inform, share and collaborate to face disaster.

Where emergency services utilise social media to instantly broadcast emergency warnings to the public. Where citizens have emergency apps on their mobile devices providing them with live alerts, information on how to prepare for disasters and maps of evacuation shelters. And, which empowers them to share disaster information from the scene using social media.

Where emergency services actively crowdsource localised information from citizens? Where emergency information, road closures, live photos and video are posted on crowdmaps by the whole of community.

Where digital volunteers locally and across the globe work around the clock to help emergency services monitor social media and respond in real time to calls for help.

Where in the recovery phase of a disaster, 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.

We, the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community, believe this vision of resilient communities, empowered to use social media in disasters is possible and are actively working around the world to make this a reality. To help facilitate this, we created the Wiki, a world first free global resource for using social media in emergencies.” To read more please see Plus Social Good.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is looking forward to joining the #2030NOW discussion and sharing ideas on how we can all help build resilient communities empowered to use social media in disasters. We encourage you to add your voice!

Cheers,

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (voluntary)

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