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.

Countdown to public launch 8 Dec…

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki will officially launch to the world on Thursday 8 December and the countdown is on…

The physical launch will take place in Brisbane, Australia at the Gov 2.0 QLD community of practice event to showcase the success of Government 2.0 in the state of Queensland.

It will be launched globally online via our YouTube channel.

The Minister for Government Services, Building Industry and Information Communication Technology, Simon Finn MP, will be keynote speaker at the event.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki, while a global collaborative initiative, began as a volunteer effort by members of the Gov2.0 Qld group, a community of practice of professionals working in the government and social media space, so it is fitting to launch the Wiki at this event.

Thanks to the sponsors Objective and hosts Microsoft, the event is free and all are welcome. But tickets are limited so make sure you get yours via this link.

 

 

When: Thursday 8 December, 5.15 (for 5.30) – 7.30 pm

Where: Microsoft, Level 28, 400 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia

YouTube: emergency20wiki

And now, ‘The Countdown’ is on… to be ready for the public launch, the Wiki needs your help… your links… your tips… and your content… to help make it a valuable resource, for the public, the emergency management community, government, schools and business.

There are lots of ways that you can help eg:

For more info on how to help, please visit our How to Help page.

Together, we can do it!

Thank you,

Eileen

Eileen Culleton, Emergency 2.0 Wiki Project Leader (Voluntary)

PS. It takes a global community to create a global Emergency 2.0 Wiki… join with us to create a resource that will help save
lives…

An open letter to the #SMEM community… please RT!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-27/nasa-image-of-hurricane-irene-over-us-east-coast/2858292

Congratulations to all who have used #SMEM, this is your first anniversary of using the hashtag!  

Your commitment to saving lives… by leveraging the power of social media… is truly inspiring. 

This year we’ve witnessed (and many of us have experienced first-hand) unprecedented global disasters… from the Australian floods and Cyclone Yasi, to the New Zealand Christchurch earthquake, Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, US tornados, Hurricane Irene, the Thailand floods, this week’s Turkey earthquake… and too many more to list.

 

And throughout all these disasters –  this year – something very special has happened… the global #SMEM community has rallied as one to help… thousands of tweets, Facebook posts and Youtube videos have been shared and numerous crowdsource maps created and populated to help save lives… and to help people and communities get their lives back on track. 

And after each disaster, the race has been on –  to try to learn from how we responded and regroup for the next one… thousands more tweets have been shared, hundreds of blog posts written and discussed, scores of case studies and reports published and countless seminars, workshops and conferences have been held around the world.

Image courtesy The Emergency 2.0 Australia Project for the Government 2.0 Taskforce Report 2010

The thirst to understand and leverage the power of social media and web 2.0 technology to save lives and to help others to save lives… is unquenching. 

Now imagine… if there was one online site to collate all that knowledge… all those learnings…. all those ‘how to’ tips… and, just as importantly ‘what not to do’…. as we go along… and after each disaster.

Imagine if there was one site where you could see practical examples by agencies… screen shots of tweets, Facebook pages, crowd source maps… that you could refer to when you’re developing your own sites?

A site that listed all the Twitter and Facebook addresses of every agency involved in emergencies (including the NGOs and media) around the globe so there would be no last minute rush to create multiple lists?

Imagine… if we had a ‘Wikipedia’ on how to use social media in emergencies… that was also a ‘live’ resource for key links?

Imagine if this ‘Wikipedia’ could be used by business, schools, government agencies, community agencies, the media… and the general public?

Imagine how resilient our communities would be to disaster?

 Now stop imagining…. because it’s here…. the Emergency 2.0 Wiki is your global resource!

 But to get it from ‘under development’ to ‘live and ready for the public’… your Wiki needs you… your links… your tips… 

Your Wiki… is a voluntary, global initiative… a resource being created by professionals from from all industry sectors, around the world, who want to make a difference to help save lives… people just like you… volunteering their time… such as: 

Patrice Cloutier, Team Lead, Strategic Communications Unit at Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, from Ontario, Canada, who also writes the crisis comms commandpost blog

Kirsten Tanner, Emergency Management Officer at Department of Human Services,  VIC, Australia

Kim Stephens, Research Associate at Claire B. Rubin & Associates ((Baltimore, Maryland,USA), who also writes the idisaster2.0 Blog

Paul Trebilcock, Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Forum Leader, QLD Business Continuity Australasian Chapter and Director at JBT Global

Philippe Borremans, Chief Social Media Officer at Van Marcke, Online Public Relations & Social Media Consultant/Trainer at Conversationblog (Brussels, Belgium)

Rae Allen, Lead developer, Local Online at Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (from QLD, Australia)

Daniele Malerba, IT Consultant to the United Nations World Food Programme,  (from Rome, Italy)

And many more, who you will see when you checkout the Wiki, who are doing their bit, but they need your help. 

The Wiki has ‘seeded content’… but it needs more eg: 

 We now have a growing library of case studies and reports, but we need to turn them into practical guidelines that everyone can use…  

And, we are in a race against time…in 4 weeks, on Thursday 8 December… we are officially launching the Emergency 2.0 Wiki to the world! 

We can’t wait…this Summer season for our southern hemisphere neighbours is predicted to be another harsh one of cyclones, floods and bushfires… and the winter season for the northern hemisphere of snowstorms and blizzards needs a resilient, prepared community! 

We are in a race against time to save lives! 

Help us to make this Wiki a valuable resource, for the emergency management community, schools, business, government, media… and for the public. 

Haven’t used a wiki before? Don’t worry, you can’t break anything… if you accidentally delete something it can be ‘rolled back’. 

Don’t know where to start? There’s a report on the learnings from Hurricane Irene, an open doc created by the SMEM community that just needs key points turned into bullet point guidelines, along with some screen shots and links. Patrice Cloutier is leading this effort  in developing the Emergency Response section

Still not keen on editing a Wiki? That’s fine too, you can still help in so many ways, such as tweeting your tips, sending links, posting discussions on the LinkedIn Group. 

It takes a global community to create a global Emergency 2.0 Wiki.

 Please register now, via LinkedIn… to join us and follow us on Twitter @emergency20wiki

Together, the #SMEM community 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 to save lives…

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!