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… 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)








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 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

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

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

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