Emergency Response

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Main Page | Emergency Response Guidelines for emergency agencies, government, community agencies, schools, business etc

Contributor Info
Reference Group Emergency Response,Crisis Communications Business Continuity,
Additional Contributors [[]]

Message from Patrice Cloutier

We will endeavour to provide content that can easily be adapted and used by organizations of all types. The objective is to provide teamplates and suggestions that are flexible and can help emergency managers, business continuity planners and others, make the most of emerging technologies: social networks, mobile devices, crowdsourcing and crisis mapping. These materials should be applicable to any circumstance whether or not agencies/organizations use the Incident Management System/Incident Command System or not.

The Emergency Response Reference Group will be managing the table of contents for this section and will be a point of contact for questions or help. As you can see in the Contributor Info Box there are also other reference groups developing key areas of content. We are still seeking reference group nominations, so if you are interested, please visit the Reference Group information page on the blogsite and contact us.

If you have guidelines on how your organisation uses social media for emergency response, please contact us so that together we can adapt them to develop generic guidelines for use by everyone. Also, (if you have permission), we would be keen to link to them in "Examples'.

This section provides guidelines to help your agency/organisation, employees and customers/clients use social media to better respond to emergencies.

Please feel free to add relevant and timely content to develop these guidelines:

Refer to Emergency Preparation Guidelines


Additional Guidelines by Sector

Emergency Sector



Government Sector


  • A key to success in planning for emergencies at the local level is to involve members of the community in both the planning and response phase. This usually leads to a greater degree of collective preparedness and resilience. During disasters, it can provide a solid anchor for any response effort.
  • An important aspect of any public warning or alerting process is the ability to send relevant information through such channels as SMS text messaging, Twitter and other means. The following link to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States provides some examples of the type of information that can be conveyed in such messages Emergency SMS messages examples
  • Also important is the tone of your warning message and the vocabulary used in them. The following blog posts offers some insights:What tone to adopt when warning the public?
  • A modern, effective public warning system must include social media and have the ability to reach audiences that consume their information from mobile devices: Public Warnings without social media are useless


Community Sector

Building an online community using a Twitter hashtag or # There are more and more indications that communities coalesce online quickly after the onset of any emergency. The stronger the community's links prior to the disaster, the more efficient the response will be and the more quickly the recovery process will begin.

The use of the Twitter # (or hashtag) allows a way to focus these online community, a better way to channels relevant conversations. The following examples gives information on the successes encountered by a small city in Vermont in the US.

Business Sector

Example of a crisis response structure in the business world

  • The traditional outlook of business continuity or continuity of operations planning in the private sector is evolving. Many enterprises have adopted the Incident Command System (or Incident Management System) model in their planning and response phases. Whatever doctrine is implemented though, from the chemical sector to nuclear operators, the approach tends to be a very structured one with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. The following offers a brief look at one such approach.One corporate emergency response model
  • Some tips on conducting effective crisis management and BCP exercises. Communications and social media are key factors as is ensuring buy-in from senior executives. A crisis management plan untested is unproven ...

Education Sector

Health Sector


Case Studies

Hurricane Irene: an analysis of the use of social media, crowdsourcing and crisis mapping - An open document prepared on behalf of the Social Media in Emergency Management Community

References and Links

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