Creating Emergency 2.0 Ready Communities in 2012

Hi Everyone! Happy New Year! As our Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community looks to 2012, we thought it was important to frame a discussion around what we aim to achieve together by first focusing on the vision of an ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready Community’, and how it would respond to an emergency… and to ask you three questions:

  1. Is this how your own community would respond?
  2. Is this how your workplace would respond?
  3. What are the gaps? How can the Wiki help everyone become ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready’?

The scenario: A major emergency/disaster has struck your community…

Emergency/first responder agencies immediately mobilise, utilising the power of social media and sms to instantly broadcast and amplify emergency warnings to the public along with radio and TV news bulletins. They monitor and actively crowdsource localised information via GPS coded tweets, photos, videos and sms messages from community agencies, schools, government, service clubs and the public, displayed on online crowdsource maps publicly accessible for all. Emergency personnel on the scene utilise this information to help them pinpoint search and rescue efforts.  In turn, they are relaying geo-tagged information updates, images and situation reports back to the operation centre for incident coordination.

Evacuation tweet (Qld floods, Aus)

Community agencies, NGOs and service clubs have also swung into action, harnessing their ‘connected communities’, liaising with agencies and volunteers to help those impacted by the emergency. They are amplifying emergency agency messages by retweeting and sharing on their social networks. They are following the emergency #hashtag on Twitter and accessing online real-time interactive community maps. In turn, they are also updating these maps and providing local, real-time geo-tagged images and situation reports to their agency counterparts and to emergency services.  They are conducting ‘virtual meetings’ using social media channels such as Skype and Google Plus. They collaborate virtually online using realtime documents such as Google word documents, spreadsheets and forms.

Emergency crowdsource map (Hurricane Irene, USA)

‘Voluntweeters’ and online volunteers, locally and globally via groups such as Crisis Commons, Humanity Road and Virtual Operations Support Group, are assisting emergency agencies, local councils and NGOs such as the Red Cross, to amplify messages to the public by re-tweeting and sharing Facebook posts. Others are monitoring the emergency #hashtags and emergency agency Twitter feeds and Facebook sites for calls for rescue or help. Other volunteers are  verifying tweets, photos, and Facebook messages from ‘citizen reporters’ and adding it to the crowdsource maps.

Government agencies and schools are implementing their emergency communication plans, using a multichannel approach including social media to keep their employees, customers, suppliers and communities informed. Employees are accessing social media sites at work for real-time emergency information and online realtime maps to establish the risk to their homes or their loved ones and to plot the safest route home (or to schools to collect their children). A Twitter feed (including feeds from official agencies) is posted on their website home page. Their websites and social network sites provide links to key emergency agencies websites.

Businesses are deploying their business continuity plans which include social media channels to provide ongoing information to employees, customers and suppliers. Employees are also accessing social media sites at work for real-time emergency information and maps to enable a safe route home or to evacuation centres. Once home or in a safe place, they make contact and stay in touch via the business internal social media network (eg Yammer) or sms. A temporary remote workforce is established using phone, text, social media and the business internal social network. Virtual meetings are conducted with key staff who can’t get to work via social media channels. They collaborate virtually online using realtime documents such as Google word documents, and spreadsheets.

The public/citizens are directly receiving and acting on localised, real-time emergency warning information via sms alerts to their mobile phones, push notifications to emergency apps and messages to their social networks along with the traditional channels of radio, TV and online.

Bushfire/Wildfire Alert App for Smartphone (NSW, Aus)

They are directly accessing links to online information via a number of platforms including websites, mobile friendly sites, smart phone apps and video sharing sites as well as social networking sites.   They are actively forwarding official emergency messages to their social networks, amplifying the warnings. They are following the #hashtag on Twitter and accessing online real-time interactive community maps.

They protect their homes by following instructions via sms and emergency apps and help their elderly, disabled and vulnerable neighbours. They are sending geo-tagged photos from the scene via SMS and social media to emergency services to help them make critical operational decisions and to notify the public of further dangers.

They are posting messages on their social networking sites and online ‘billboards’ to let their loved ones know they are safe, leaving the phone lines free for emergency calls.

If they need rescue, they are texting a designated help number, using their smartphone app to send an SOS message with their GPS location to emergency agencies or loved ones, or sending a tweet or Facebook message and image with GPS activated to enable emergency services to assist locating them…

Is this how your community would respond if a major emergency or disaster struck right now?

What about your workplace? What are the gaps? How can the Wiki help everyone become ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready’?

The answer to these questions will frame our focus and actions for 2012 and we need your input! In our January planning, we’ve identified a number of activities: 

Our global Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community on TweepsMap

The Wiki

Together we have created a great resource, but there are gaps:

  • Guidelines: We still need to develop practical guidelines for a number of key topics and for the health, community and education sectors.
  • Smartphone Apps Directory: We have apps for many emergencies, but need help uploading links to apps from the lists we’ve been sent, and to add new ones as they are developed…
  • Global directory: We’ve got a solid list for Australia, the US and NZ, but need help to add emergency social media contacts for the rest of the world. If you don’t fancy editing the wiki, please just add the web addresses to this blog post as a comment and a volunteer will copy it over (show of hands please!)
  • For more info on how to help with the Wiki, please visit How to Help.
We also aim to help build community resilience and create ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready Communities’ through:

Social Media in Times of Crisis Symposium; Eidos Institute

Education and Training:

We will continue to present at industry conferences, seminars and workshops on how organisations and individuals can use social media and new technology in emergency prevention, preparation, response and recovery.
We also aim to accelerate capacity building in communities by providing ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready Train the Trainer’ sessions for organisations such as professional industry associations, councils and service clubs.

BCI Alliance


Alliances:

We will forge ahead with building alliances with agencies and networks from across all industry sectors to support common goals, for collaboration and knowledge sharing, and to help facilitate delivery of education and training.

Resilience Framework:

We aim to develop a resilience framework that can be utilised by all industry sectors to become ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready’.

Community Engagement:

We aim to increase our community engagement, awareness and education activities to promote the use of social media and new technology for building community resilience.

We attended a stakeholder workshop to help inform this report

Research:

We will continue to promote and support research activities in the use of social media for emergency communications and to build community resilience.

We helped inform the development of the Ready Qld emergency volunteer app


Technology Innovation:

We will assist our community to stay at the cutting edge of emergency communications technology. For example, as new tools and applications are developed and released eg Google Plus, they will be posted on the Wiki along with practical guidelines on how to use these tools for emergency communications and business continuity.

We will also continue to promote and support technology innovation for emergency communications and to build community resilience, such as the development of new apps.

This is a big agenda for the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, but we believe these activities are important to help our communities become Emergency 2.0 Ready and that together, we can make it happen…

We will also be seeking funding support from a number of sources. On the governance side, we also look forward to expanding the board with the expertise needed to help us achieve our goals. As well as this, we’re aiming to create a governance model that will enable people from across the globe to take on voluntary leadership roles in areas such as community management, education and training, marketing and communications and research (in addition to the Wiki Reference Groups who are focussed on content).

This is your Wiki, a free global resource that you helped create and it is vital that you continue to have input to its direction as well as the content and we aim to regularly seek your input and feedback. Another key enabler for this will be the establishment of a membership base, which would give everyone a formal voice and voting options. We plan to post more on that soon.

Thank you for being a part of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community. We’d love your feedback and ideas and really look forward to working with you this year to help create Emergency 2.0 Ready communities in 2012.

From the founding directors (voluntary): Eileen Culleton (CEO), David Eade and Denver Gibson.

Wishing you a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year

As this year draws to a close, we would like to wish our global Emergency 2.0 Wiki community a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

It has been a momentous year, which began with the unprecedented disasters that swept our globe and ended with the launch of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki – a free global resource for using social media in emergencies.

And today, we are thrilled to announce that we officially became a not for profit company, Emergency 2.0 Wiki Ltd, just in time for Christmas!

We are very grateful to Joanne Redburn (NFP Lawyers and formerly of Hynes Lawyers) and Michael Boughey (Hynes Lawyers) for all their hard work in making this happen.

Our three founding directors are David Eade, Co-founder and Coordinator, Government 2.0 in Queensland Community of Practice (CoP that initiated the Wiki), Denver Gibson, Wiki Working Group Member and Business Development Manager at Mammoth Media, our technology and web hosting partners, and myself (Eileen Culleton), Project Leader and now proud CEO (albeit in a voluntary capacity)!

We would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of you for helping to make the vision of creating an Emergency 2.0 Wiki – a free global resource for using social media and new technologies in emergencies – a reality in 2011.

Now we look forward to working together to making our vision – of building resilient communities empowered with the knowledge to use social media in emergencies – a reality in 2012.

With warmest wishes and lots of cheer,

Eileen

Eileen Culleton

Founder and CEO (Voluntary role)

ps. the launch of the Wiki is now on YouTube… thanks to JPL Media and GigTV

Emergency 2.0 Wiki launches to the world

http://www.emergency20wiki.org/wiki

Media Release reprinted here:

Brisbane, Australia – A new, free global resource for using social media in emergencies was launched today in time for the Southern Hemisphere Summer season of floods, cyclones and bushfires and the Northern Hemisphere winter season of snow storms and blizzards.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki will act as a global hub for all sectors of the community to access information and links to resources for using social media and new technology in emergencies.

Speaking at a Gov2.0 QLD event at Microsoft Brisbane, celebrating gov2.0 initiatives in the state, Founder and Project leader Eileen Culleton said the vision of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki was to build resilience by empowering communities with the knowledge to use social media and networks in emergencies.

“We’ve witnessed from the unprecedented disasters that swept our globe this year that information saves lives and in an emergency every second counts,” Eileen Culleton said.

“Thanks to the instant, amplifying power of social media and our networks, we can all play a role in saving our own lives and the lives of others. The key is knowing how,” she said.

“The Emergency 2.0 Wiki provides the ‘know how’ and it’s formatted for mobile phones. So wherever you are, if you have internet access, you can quickly find tips on sourcing local real time emergency information, how to share that information with others, and how to contact emergency agencies via social media.

“You can also link to emergency smartphone apps that could save your life.”

The Wiki also provides practical guidelines to assist the emergency sector, government, community and business to use social networks, crowdsourcing and crisis mapping for emergency management and business continuity planning.

Contributors from many countries and industry sectors are involved in the Emergency 2.0 Wiki initiative. Reference group members include:

“We are all very happy to contribute to a global effort with the potential to help people all
over the planet. Social networks and digital technologies are force multipliers
that enhance our collective ability to respond to disasters.”

The guidelines cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Establishing  social media channels
  • Crisis communications
  • Business continuity
  • Employee engagement
  • Risk and mitigation checklists
  • Policies and Procedures

The Emergency 2.0bWiki is a free global resource available to all through the ongoing input of
professionals from across all industry sectors.

This new collaborative model aims to facilitate global sharing and advancing knowledge on utilising web2.0 and social media in emergency management.

It is a voluntary initiative of the Gov 2.0 QLD Community of Practice. Its impetus was to leverage the learnings from the use of social media during the devastating floods and Cyclone Yasi that swept across Queensland early in 2011.

For more information, visit http://emergency20wiki.org/wiki

Ends

PS Massive congratulations to everyone who helped turn the vision into a reality… the Wiki Working Group, the Reference Groups, our technology and web hosting partners Mammoth Media, Hynes Lawyers providing pro bono legal support… and to the hundreds of people globally who tweeted, blogged, sent in their tips, articles, apps, case studies, reports and guidelines and contributed content. This is your wiki! Please spread the word and keep contributing content to sustain this valuable resource that will help our communities to become more resilient, and help save lives!

Eileen Culleton, Project Leader (voluntary)

PPS. We will also upload the launch on YouTube (having some technical hitches)

One week till launch… and the countdown for content is on!

In a week today (on Thursday 8 December) the Emergency 2.0 Wiki will officially launch to the world, so the countdown for content is on…

To be ready for the public launch, the Wiki needs your help… your links… and help to upload content we’ve gathered… so we can create a valuable global resource, for the public, the emergency management community, government, schools and business.

Help with posting guidelines content onto the Wiki:

Thanks to the Canadian community via Partnerships Towards Safer Communities (PTSC Online) and our Belgium community via Kortom with their guidelines ‘hot off the press’,  we now have some excellent resources to refer to in writing the Wiki guidelines.

Content covered includes:

  • Policies and Procedures
  • Risk and Mitigation checklists
  • Establishing social media channels
  • Integration with Crisis Communications and Business Continuity Plans
  • Integration with other channels
  • Integration with other agencies
  • Crisis Team training

To help out please contact Reference Group members Patrice Cloutier and Philippe Borremans who are leading the uploading of these guidelines.

Help with posting links for the global directory – for your country, your state and your town

Help with posting emergency smartphone apps links

Thanks to generous sharing of John McCubbin of his Delicious library of emergency smartphone app links, we have access to a great resource. But we need your help to categorise the content and post the links to our global Smartphone_Apps directory.

For more info on how to help, please visit our How to Help page. To edit the Wiki you need to register first via the Emergency 2.0 Wiki LinkedIn Group, then send an email to admin@emergency20wiki.org.

Together, we can do it!

Thank you,

Eileen

Eileen Culleton, Emergency 2.0 Wiki Project Leader (Voluntary)

PS together we can create a global resource that will help save lives…