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

#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

Building emergency 2.0 resilient communities in 2013

American Red Cross Digital Operations Centre

American Red Cross Digital Operations Centre

Hi Everyone. As our Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community looks to 2013 and with many of us still reeling from January’s disasters of bushfires and floods in Australia and heavy snow and floods in the UK (to name a few), we thought we’d frame a discussion around what we aim to achieve together by reviewing how far the world has come in the journey towards building emergency 2.0 resilient communities and share what we believe the challenges are, how the Wiki can help and how you can help. We hope this discussion will also inform the development of our 3 year strategic plan, the first draft of which we will soon post online as a Google Doc for your comments and input.

2012 was another year of devastating disasters around the globe. The good news is that along with the accelerating usage of social media globally (including on mobile devices), we witnessed increasing usage of social media by the community in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.

Hurricane Sandy Google Crisis Response Map

Hurricane Sandy Google Crisis Response Map

The most shining example was New York City’s social media response to Hurricane Sandy, in which we witnessed a ‘whole of community’ response, where emergency services, all levels of government,  media, business, NGOs, the volunteer technical community, community groups, faith-based groups and the public pulled together using social media to inform, share, connect, collaborate and galvanise to face the disaster.

The NYC government opened up its data enabling developers and designers to develop emergency maps and applications and partnered with organisations such as Google’s Crisis Response Team to develop a customised map featuring evacuation zones, shelters and recovery centres. Huffington Post launched a Crowdmap to encourage the public to share their own observations, photos and video of incidents such as flooded roads and downed powerlines via sms, tweets, email or web form. The public could also sign up to receive alerts when a report was submitted within their geographical area. This Crowdmap utilises the Ushahidi application, which includes a mobile app to facilitate ease of reporting.

Citizens downloaded mobile apps such as the FEMA Preparedness App and the Red Cross Hurricane App to receive alerts and emergency preparation information.

The NYC government used Twitter @nycgov, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube to issue information and they live streamed media conferences. Most importantly the NYC government engaged in two way communication with the public using social media, responding to questions and listening to the public in order to more efficiently allocate resources.

Digital volunteers from groups such as NYVOST and Humanity Road rallied locally and globally to help monitor the ‘fire hose’ of social media information generated by the public and working with local authorities to keep them informed.

Also listening and responding to local needs in real time via social media was the Red Cross, utilising their new digital operations centre.

The NYC Department of Education utilised Twitter @NYCSchools  and Facebook to issue preparedness messages to school staff and parents, to alert of pending school closures, of schools being used as evacuation centres and also to rally donations for emergency relief and volunteers in the recovery phase.

To enable businesses to directly help each other out with office space and other services such as internet connection and mobile device recharging, a member of the technical community Noel Hidalgo @noneck established a Sandy Coworking Crowdmap using the Ushahidi platform.

Hurricane Sandy Recovery Crowdmap

Hurricane Sandy Staten Island Recovery Crowdmap

To support recovery in Staten Island a Crowdmap, created by the community was populated with information from the public via text, tweet using the hashtag #helpsi or directly online. This Ushahidi map automatically updates reports of relief help available or people in need as well as relief stations and volunteer opportunities. Businesses can update donated services and goods as well.

While we don’t have information on how the business sector used social media in the emergency preparation phase to prepare their workforce, or during the emergency to liaise with their stakeholders (please send us articles if you have them), from our observations, the majority of the Future Scenarios of an Emergency 2.0 Resilient Community that we posted on this site and the Wiki over a year ago were played out in New York City in the face of Hurricane Sandy.

We encourage everyone to revisit the Future Scenarios for emergency preparation, response and recovery and ask yourselves is this how my community would respond in an emergency? Is this how my emergency services would respond? My city government? My business? My local school? What are the gaps?

How the Wiki can help communities become Emergency 2.0 Resilient – and how you can help

Emergency 2.0 Wiki main page

Emergency 2.0 Wiki main page

Guidelines

Great progress was made last year in producing tips and guidelines for using social media for emergency preparation, response and recovery. Thanks to the great work and contribution of Wiki reference group members, the broader wiki community and the US and NZ governments, there is a wealth of resources on the Wiki for all to access.

Social Media in an Emergency: A Best Practice Guide

Social Media in an Emergency: A Best Practice Guide

Emergency agencies/First Responders guidelines

As well as on those tips and guidelines on the Wiki itself, a number of guides have also been published by government agencies, in New Zealand and the United States, which can be adapted for your own countries. These guides are referenced and linked throughout the Wiki and posted on the library page. They include:

Social media in an Emergency: A Best Practice Guide developed by New Zealand emergency services. The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is proud to have assisted with its development by facilitating an international review. This excellent guide was recently translated into French, thanks to the voluntary initiative of #SMEM and #MSGU community member Moro Cedric @moro_cedric and it is available via his I-Resilience blog and also on the Wiki.

Guidance for Collaborating with Volunteer & Technical Communities

Guidance for Collaborating with Volunteer & Technical Communities

The US Government produced three excellent guides last year for first responders on community engagement and social media strategy for emergency management.

The Digital Humanitarian Network, a new consortium of Volunteer & Technical Communities of digital volunteers, published Guidance for Collaborating with Volunteer & Technical Communities.

FEMA Social Media in Emergency Management online course

FEMA Social Media in Emergency Management online course

Free online SMEM course – available globally

This three hour online course was developed by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for first responders and is available to everyone around the world, for free! It is interactive, with videos and can be done in parts. The Wiki is proud to be referenced in the content and as a resource for further reading. The course is also listed in our library.

Accessibility Toolkit

We created an Accessibility Toolkit which not only provides tips on how people with a disability can overcome accessibility issues of social media, but 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 caneit also has guidelines on how organisations can ensure their social media messages reach this sector.

Our Reference Groups need you!

Technology and social media is changing so rapidly that what is ‘best practice today’ is not tomorrow. It’s the key reason why we created a wiki and not a website – to enable us to quickly update our tips and guides.

Emergency AppsA case in point for this is Facebook. As #SMEM guru Jim Garrow pointed out in his Face of the Matter blog, Facebook is no longer the ‘silver bullet’ – because they’ve recently changed the news feed so that only 10%- 15% of your messages will be viewed by your followers.

We need you to help us update the tips and guidelines on the Wiki and keep them up-to-date as the technology and platforms change. This means sharing your own tips and sourcing tips from the #SMEM community, the Wiki LinkedIn Group posts, leading blogs, news sites, case studies and research reports. Please check out our Reference Groups; we need you!

If you work in the Education or Health Sector, we’d also like to encourage you to help us start up Reference Groups to develop resources to help schools, universities and hospitals become Emergency 2.0 Resilient. While we’ve developed and collated some resources, there isn’t yet lot of content. This year we’d like to address this and encourage you to help us.

Capacity Building and Empowering Community Groups for Resilience

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

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

We believe that resilient communities are connected communities and it is critical to capacity build community groups to use social media for emergency preparation, response and recovery. This includes first responder volunteer groups such as CERT (US) and SES (Australia), service clubs such as Lions and Rotary, faith-based groups and neighbourhood watch groups. It is these grass roots community groups on the ground that are best positioned to tap into local needs in times of emergency and who will be there during the long road to recovery when outside help and media attention subsides.

The Wiki aims to, in consultation with key groups, develop a ‘Community Group Emergency 2.0 Toolkit’, which would consist of guidelines, YouTube webinars and other resources to empower groups to use social media for emergency preparation, response and recovery. We aim to seek grant funding and investigate crowdsourcing options for this vital initiative, so if you are interested in helping, please contact us.

Building Business Continuity and Resilience

Continuity Forum Presentation

Continuity Forum Presentation

Key to community resilience is keeping businesses operating and social media can play a critical role in helping business prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. We further developed the Wiki guidelines for business continuity and resilience, covering topics such as ‘using social media to empower employees’, ‘to communicate with stakeholders’ and ‘establish a temporary workforce’. We presented at a Continuity Forum in Brisbane (Australia) and Government 2.0 Conference in Canberra (Australia) and have since had many invitations to speak on this topic. To address the need to build business capability in this area, we aim to seek funding to create webinars to post on YouTube to be freely available to all to access across the globe. If you have ideas on how we could access funding for this initiative please contact us.

Citizen Engagement and Education for Resilience

Disaster Alert app by the Pacific Disaster Center.

Disaster Alert app by the Pacific Disaster Center.

Last, but not least, while citizens are increasingly using social media to find and share emergency information, we believe a lot of education is still needed to help people better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. For example, encouraging people to download an emergency app onto their mobile devices so they can get alerts before disaster strikes is one action that has enormous potential to save lives. This includes raising awareness of the existence of apps produced for their locality, but also disaster alert apps available globally, that they can download prior to travelling.

Another priority is to ensure the social media messages shared by citizens on the scene contain critical information to best help emergency services, the media and the public. This includes enabling GPS on mobile devices and adding a #hashtag and the time when tweeting warnings, photos or videos. The following tweet was part of an awareness campaign we ran in January during the Australian bushfires to educate the public on how to share information using social media, providing links to the Wiki:

Another important education objective is to encourage people to help each other and local emergency agencies and governments by populating crowdmaps with their own information from the scene. As we have showcased, this was a vital feature of the social media response to Hurricane Sandy, but is still a new concept in many countries. The Wiki promotes the use of crowdmaps in our Future Scenarios and throughout the Wiki. We also promote their use during major disasters; for example we retweeted this message from Brisbane Council during the January floods in Australia:

We believe that key to successful citizen education and engagement for emergency 2.0 resilience is developing engaging social media campaigns that are designed to go viral. We also recognise that it is important to run these campaigns in the leadup to known disaster seasons eg hurricane/tornado/bushfire as well as during every major disaster to remind people how to use social media to prepare, share information, help one another and to mobilise and galvanise support for recovery.

This means also utilising the most popular social media sites such as Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube and Pinterest. At present, due to a lack of resourcing we are limited to Twitter, and our campaigns are sporadic, based on volunteer time availability.

To meet this challenge, we are seeking a communications agency to design a social media campaign on a pro bono basis. We also aim to establish a volunteer Marketing and Communications Wiki Work Team to assist with rolling out campaigns across the globe with local information such as emergency mobile apps. If you are interested in assisting, please contact us.

Help Translate the Wiki into other languages

At present, the Wiki is only available in English. To help accelerate the global adoption of social media for emergency management and help create emergency 2.0 resilient communities, we aim to make the content available in a number of languages. If you speak (and write) another language and are keen to help with translating sections of the Wiki, please contact us.

Funding Support

Delivering these important activities is reliant on the Emergency 2.0 Wiki receiving funding support. As a not for profit in the start up phase, run entirely by volunteers, the Wiki requires funding to enable us to continue to provide and develop this free resource for all.

To date, our activities have been very limited as we had not been in a position to fundraise while awaiting endorsement from the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient (DRG). We recently received that endorsement and can now actively seek grant funding, corporate donations and ‘crowdsource’ funding and we aim to soon launch a donation page to enable people to make a welcome contribution (of any amount) to help us keep delivering and developing this vital free global resource for all. In the meantime, if you’d like to discuss ideas for funding support, we please contact us.

Thank You!

In closing, we’d like to thank you for being a part of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community and we look forward to working with you in building Emergency 2.0 resilient communities around the globe in 2013. Please checkout How to Help for all the different ways you can participate. We’d love your feedback and ideas, so please join the discussion on the Wiki LinkedIn Group, share your ideas in the comments below, or contact us directly.

Cheers,

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary)

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