#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
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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

US Government releases social media community engagement guide for emergency preparedness

To coincide with September being National Preparedness Month, the US Government has released a social media guide “Community Engagement Guidance and Best Practices” for first responders.

In support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “Whole of Community” approach to emergency management, this guide discusses best practices for the use of social media by public safety agencies and partner organisations for meaningful and successful engagement of community members and stakeholders.

“Whole of Community” is described as including non-governmental organisations like faith-based and non-profit groups, the private sector, academia, individuals, families and communities.

“Social media can provide a means to tap into community and volunteer efforts, saving resources and time by leveraging existing networks, identifying existing resources, encouraging information sharing between the “whole of the community” and official response organisations, and helping to ensure that all information shared is immediate, accurate and up-to-date.” (page 7)

The guide defines and discusses various goals for community engagement, such as “to encourage individual connectivity and promote community resources”, “to promote and encourage efficiency, credibility and transparency” and “to encourage multidirectional sharing of essential information”.

Challenges and considerations covered include “Brand Management and Awareness” and how to address “Oversaturation of information”.

Recommendations and use cases are provided for topics such as:

  • Crowdsourcing for creative problem solving
  • Online collaboration and multi-media information sharing
  • Developing creative and engaging content
  • Relationship building and community partnerships
  • Volunteer networks

This guide builds on earlier social media guides “Social Media Strategy” and “Next Steps Strategy” produced in January by the First Responder Communities of Practice Virtual Social Media Working Group. The Emergency 2.0 Wiki has now added this set of guides to the Emergency Preparation section and the Library joining the following guides sourced from around the globe:

  • “Social Media in an Emergency: A Best Practice Guide” (New Zealand – for which the wiki facilitated an international review)
  • “Project to Advance Crisis and Emergency Communications” (Canada)
  • “Use of social media in crisis communication” (Belgium)

We hope these guides will be utilised internationally to help accelerate the adoption of social media for emergency management and create ‘Emergency 2.0 Ready Communities’. The guide is also available via the FirstResponder.gov site. Please share widely.

Cheers,

Eileen

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary role)

Hurricane Irene report authors join forces with Emergency 2.0 Wiki

Hurricane Irene report

We are thrilled to announce that best practice learnings from the social media response to Hurricane Irene, which struck the east coast of the US and the Caribbean in August will be incorporated into the Wiki.

The report, “Hurricane Irene: an analysis of the use of social media, crowdsourcing and crisis mapping,” a collaborative, voluntary and open source effort, is one of the most comprehensive analysis to date of the use of social media in disasters.

As stated in our August blog post:

“The US response to Hurricane Irene has raised the bar in using social media in emergencies. The actions of emergency agencies, government agencies, not for profits, the volunteer technical community, the media and the general public were impressive and inspirational. We look forward to these learnings being incorporated into the Wiki to share with the global community.”

This ‘appeal to the crowd’ is now going to be a reality thanks to this report and lead author Patrice Cloutier, an emergency management communications expert who works for the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services in Canada, and who has generously agreed to volunteer his time to lead the Wiki Emergency Response Reference Group.

This Reference Group will lead the content development, management and promotion of two sections of the wiki:

  1. Tips for the Public, What to do during an Emergency
  2. Guidelines for emergency services, government, business, schools etc

Patrice will work with the report’s contributors (and anyone else who is keen) to incorporate key learnings into practical guidelines. This will include examples of the social media response from:

  • Local/municipal agencies and entities: including New York City, Washington DC, New Jersey and many cities in the impact zone
  • Federal agencies: including The Department of Homeland Security and White House, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS) and National Hurricane Centre
  • State Agencies: including The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachussets and Vermont
  • NGOs and Service Agencies: including The American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Volunteer Technical Communities: including Crisis Commons, Humanity Road and Crisis Mappers
  • Media and the Private Sector: including the New York Times, radio station WNYC,  and the Weather Channel
  • Business: including Google and Facebook
  • Citizens: including Sara Estes Cohen who created a Twitter list of key agencies

The report is currently being finalised and is still open for input, so if you would like to help on that front, please send through your report comments and suggestions to patricecloutiermcscs@gmail.com. You can also read more about the report and its contributors on his crisis comms command post blog. We have linked to the report on the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Reports page, Library page, under references on the Emergency Preparation page and Emergency Response page.

If you’d like to help Patrice and the Reference Group incorporate the report’s key learnings into the Wiki, you are absolutely welcome! It takes a community to create a wiki and we need your help! Just remember that you will need to first register via the Emergency 2.0 Wiki LinkedIn Group. This is your gateway to developing the Wiki and joining the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community!