Wiki to present at global disaster forum

IDRC Davos 2014Exiting News! The Wiki has been accepted to present at the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (#IDRC2014) in Davos Switzerland 24-28 August. This conference is organised by the Global Risk Forum in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and is the largest world gathering of key players in this field.

IDRC Davos 2014 attempts to find solutions to today’s challenges by managing risks, reducing disasters and adapting to climate change.

Our topic will be “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 together we can help create a world where communities use social media to save not only their own lives in a disaster, but also the lives of others. A world where:

  • Emergency services use social media to issue alerts and warnings to save lives
  • Emergency agencies engage with the community as partners
  • The community is prepared, including people with a disability
  • Digital volunteers from across the globe provide ‘information aid’ during and after disasters
  • The community reaches out to help the community

We believe this involves educating and empowering all sectors of the community: emergency services, the government, NGOs, community groups, faith based groups, schools, hospitals, business, media and citizens to understand that they can all play a role in using social media to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)We will be sharing best practice examples from around the world and showcasing how the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, a free global resource for using social media and new technologies in disasters, can help.

The Wiki serves as in information hub providing tips, guides, mobile apps, mapping tools, videos and an international directory of emergency services on social media. It has tips for citizens to help themselves and help others, an accessibility toolkit for people with disabilities and guidelines for emergency services, government, community groups and NGOs, schools, hospitals and business.

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Sponsorship Opportunity

We are offering the opportunity to sponsor the Emergency 2.0 Wiki’s presentation at #IDRC2014 and receive increased brand profile through a global social media campaign.

The three phase social media campaign (pre, during and post conference) will promote our participation, raise awareness of our key presentation messages and publicly recognise and thank our sponsors. We will utilise this blog, Twitter (@emergency20wiki), Google+, Emergency 2.0 LinkedIn Group, YouTube and Facebook (coming soon).

Sponsor logos will feature on the presentation which will be posted after the conference on the Wiki, the IDRC website and this blog.

Eileen Culleton presenting at Social Media In Times of Crisis Symposium 2014. Photographer Fiona Muirhead

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Founder & CEO Eileen Culleton presenting at Social Media In Times of Crisis National Symposium.

Conference Attendees

Over 1000 participants from 100 countries will be attending #IDRC2014. These include UN agents such as UNISDR and UNSESCO, NGOs, international organisations, private sector, risk management experts, practitioners, scientists, academic sector, key players from civil society and the media. The global social media spotlight will also be on the conference via the hashtag #IDRC2014.

If you are interested in sponsorship please contact me on

We are excited to have this opportunity to showcase the Emergency 2.0 Wiki on the world stage and make strategic contacts to form alliances with international bodies. It’s also a powerful opportunity to influence world policy: the outcomes will be presented at the UN World Conference WCDRR in Sendai Japan in March 2015 and aim to influence the post 2015 agenda such as the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the successor of the Kyoto Protocol.

We look forward to sharing our message on the global stage and helping countries better utilise social media to build disaster resilience.

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary role)
P.S. Together we can make our world safer… Thank You!
Image Credit: Social Media in Times of Crisis National Symposium, Eidos Institute Facebook. Photographer Fiona Muirhead.

#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 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

A huge thanks to the volunteer team at Humanity Road for your daily commitment to humanity!

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We’re crowdsourcing ideas for our Strategic Plan!

Flickr Lyn Friedman

Flickr Lyn Friedman

We’re crowdsourcing ideas for our Strategic Plan and we’d love to hear yours!

To coincide with our upcoming 2nd birthday on 8 December, we’ve released our Draft Strategic Plan and shared it as a Google Doc. To capture your ideas and feedback we’ve created a Google Doc Feedback Form.

We will publicly acknowledge all who participated when we publish the final strategic plan.

Flickr Randy Le'Moine

Flickr Randy Le’Moine

Our Vision

To help build resilient communities empowered with the knowledge to use social media to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

What we believe
Social media, disaster apps

Social media & disaster apps on cellphone

We believe that together we can help create a world where during emergencies and disasters, communities use social media to save their own lives and the lives of others.

  • Where emergency services use social media to issue alerts and warnings
  • Where emergency services engage with the community as partners
  • Where the community is prepared, including people with a disability
  • Where digital volunteers from across the globe provide ‘information aid’ during and after disasters
  • Where the community helps the community recover
  • Checkout our future scenarios for what this could look like in action.
Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community via TweepsMap

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community via TweepsMap

Who we are

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is a nonprofit driven entirely by volunteers. Our volunteers form a global, online, collaborative community of professionals and organisations drawn from emergency services, government, NGO’s, business, health, education and media, sharing their knowledge to help create resilient communities.

We utilise the Wiki, this Blog, Twitter, a LinkedIn Group, Google +, YouTube, Slideshare, Skype, Google+ Hangouts and Google Docs to communicate, collaborate, crowdsource and co-create.

emergency2.0wiki_logo_colour_lowres (2)The 4 key areas of focus for our Strategic Plan are:
  1. Become financially & operationally viable
  2. Increase participation & collaboration
  3. Increase reach
  4. Increase content
 Timeframe: Sunday 8 December (AEDT)

The Draft Strategic Plan is open for your ideas and feedback via the Feedback Form for two weeks. The deadline is Sunday 8 December (AEDT). Please share this post with people you believe could add value to this process.  It takes a global community to maintain the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, so we are looking forward to your ideas. Thank you in advance!

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Emergency 2.0 Wiki Twitter mosaic

Other ways you can become involved

We thought now would also be a good time to invite you to become more involved. Our How to Help page outlines lots of options. Here are a few:

  • Join one of our Reference Groups to help lead the content development of the Wiki.
  • Join a Wiki Work Team to help drive key areas such as marketing and communications, education and training, library and research
  • Become a Pro bono partner. We are seeking pro bono partnerships for Accounting Services, Marketing and Communications and other services

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki community are an inspirational group of people helping create resilient communities across the globe. Many thanks to all of you and we look forward to your continued support for a successful year three!

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary)

Help shape public policy globally on using social media for disaster resilience

SocialGoodSummit_Logo_2013_bIt is exciting to see new technology and social media starting to become part of the public policy conversation around the globe as countries and governments look to how they can improve resilience to disasters. In this post we report on the US
Congressional Hearing on Emergency Management 2.0, Australia’s public policy conversation, the G8 Open Data Charter, the G-Everyone conversation and the 2013 Social Good Summit. It is our hope that we can learn from each other and join
together to help accelerate public policy globally on using social
media for disaster resilience.

US Government Congressional Hearing on Emergency Management 2.0

The United States Government recently took the policy conversation a giant leap forward by holding a Congressional Hearing entitled “Emergency MGMT 2.0: How @SocialMedia & New Tech are Transforming Preparedness, Response, & Recovery #Disasters #Part1 #Privatesector”.

The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications held a hearing on 4th June to ask for input from the private sector. Google, The Internet Association, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), British Gas (contact EON here) and Palantir Technologies, were represented on the panel and submitted written testimonies.

The use of social media and new technologies in Hurricane Sandy was discussed as well as more recent disasters such as the Oklahoma Tornado. Key Learnings included:

  • People want to find critical information through familiar technology
  • Mobile technology is a game changer
  • The public want to be connected and involved
  • Crowdsourcing can enhance both quality and timeliness of critical information
  • The need for open data – emergency information should be available online in open formats and with open licences before a disaster
  • Deployable 3G/4G networks as well as mobile device charging stations should be a priority in the aftermath of a disaster

The video and written testimonies are available on the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security site. We have added this link to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki library under Public Policy Papers and Discussions.

Part 2 of the Subcommittee Hearing, asking for input from the government and NGO sector is planned for 9th July.

Social Media in Times of Crisis Forum – Australia

Australia’s public policy conversation was instigated in April by public think tank Eidos Institute, who brought together emergency management, government, nonprofit, business, research, political, policy and media leaders to share ideas in a bid to shape public policy on this important issue.  As featured in an earlier blog post, the Emergency 2.0 Wiki presented on how a whole of community approach to using social media in times of crisis increases its effectiveness.

We provided a local, national and global perspective on how a ‘whole of community approach’ was successfully applied, showcasing New York City’s social media response to Hurricane Sandy and drawing on examples from this year’s Queensland floods and Victoria bushfires.

Our key recommendations for a ‘whole of community’ approach to using social media in times of crisis were:

  1. Provide tools and the platforms to help the public help themselves, each other and emergency services and official agencies eg emergency apps, crowdmaps
  2. Educate the public on how to use social media to help themselves, each other and emergency services
  3. Engage in two way communication – ask the public to help
  4. Engage digital volunteers

You can find videos of the presentations and panel discussions at the Eidos Institute Vimeo channel. The conversation is continuing via the Eidos Institute LinkedIn Group ‘Social Media in Times of Crisis’, and a report will be released soon. We have added the Vimeo channel link to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki library.

G8 Open Data Charter
G8 Open Data Charter

G8 Open Data Charter

An exciting outcome of this year’s G8, the annual summit of the heads of government of the world’s eight largest economies (US, UK, Canada, Germany, Russia, France, Italy and Japan), on 18 June, was the G8 Open Data Charter. As was highlighted during the US Government Congressional Hearing on Emergency Management 2.0, open data plays a critical role in information dissemination in an emergency. Google Vice President of Technology for Social Impact, Matthew Stepka highlighted this in his written testimony:

“Information dissemination in an emergency depends on several factors: open and interoperable formats for emergency data, timely release of such data and location awareness. Without these, it is extremely difficult to get the right emergency information to the right people at the right time,” Mr Stepka said.

The G8 Open Data Charter outlines the following key principles for access to, and the release and re-use of, data made available by G8 governments:

  • Open Data by Default
  • Quality and Quantity
  • Useable by All
  • Releasing Data for Improved Governance
  • Releasing Data for Innovation

While some of these governments had already made commitments to open data (eg the US and the UK), the signing of the charter by the G8 sends a powerful global message. You can download the Open Data Charter on the Gov.UK site. We have also added this link to our library.


G-Everyone3-07-2013 10-33-47 AMIn the leadup to the G8 Summit, G-everyone, a world first global online public conversation event was held on 10 June to discuss how technology, innovation and online communities can help build ‘open economies, open governments and open societies’ (the theme of G8).

An initiative of the partners of the Social Good Summit –  Mashable, 92nd Street Y, United Nations Foundation, Ericsson, U.N. Development Programme , Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Ashoka, the digital #GEveryone conversation took place on Twitter, Google+ Hangouts and the Plus Social Good  site with key themes tabled to the G8 for consideration.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki participated in the Twitter conversation, highlighting the importance of online communities to disaster resilience and the importance of accessibility.

While the topic of community resilience didn’t make it onto the themes tabled to the G8 (it was a broad global agenda) we believe it was important that we joined the conversation.

Social Good Summit 2013

SocialGoodSummit_Logo_2013_bThe Social Good Summit 2013, a global conversation with leading experts, advocates and innovators about how social media and technology can help address some of the world’s biggest challenges, will be held on 22-24 September.

An initiative of Mashable, 92nd Street Y, United Nations Foundation, Ericsson, U.N. Development Programme and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,the summit theme #2030NOW focuses on what kind of world we want in 2030. Everyone around the globe is invited to participate in the online conversation in the leadup via various social media channels including Twitter. As well as the keynote event in New York, people are also encouraged to organise Mashable Meetups to discuss what #2030NOW means to their specific communities and the world.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is looking forward to joining the global conversation and we encourage you to add your voice to the discussion on how we can help build resilient communities empowered with the knowledge to use social media in emergency communications. We also encourage you to join the Plus Social Good community and share your ideas there. You can learn more about getting involved on the Social Good Summit site.  We’ve also added this link to our Library.

We are keen to share updates on other public policy conversations going on around the globe in the area of social media, emergency management and community resilience and we invite you to share your news in the comments below. You are also welcome to join the Emergency 2.0 Wiki LinkedIn Group and use that forum to share news.


Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (voluntary)

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