What to do after an emergency

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*Checkout the wiki Smartphone Apps Directory [[Smartphone Apps]]
*Checkout the wiki Smartphone Apps Directory [[Smartphone Apps]]
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==Real Time Community Maps==
==Real Time Community Maps==

Current revision as of 01:11, 20 February 2015

Main Page | Tips for the public - what to do after an emergency

Contributor Info
Reference Group Emergency Recovery
Additional Contributors Tim Miller, Eileen Culleton


Finding accurate information after an emergency

After an emergency you might be looking for different types of information (ie, where the community recovery centre is located, when essential services will be restored). The way you use social media to search for information is the same as before and during emergencies.

  • Emergency service agencies may utilise social media to broadcast localised updates on infrastructure and essential services being restored. Find and follow their Facebook accounts and Twitter Channels
  • Community agencies may use their social media sites to rally and mobilise volunteers and to call for donations of household items. Find and follow them on Facebook and Twitter
  • Online real-time interactive community maps may be established such as the |Hurricane Sandy Staten Island Recovery Map
  • See if there is a smart phone app for your emergency and download it to receive up to date localised information
  • Local schools may also utilise social media to share community recovery information and to call for volunteers and donations of material items

How to use social media to share information and help others

  • Share official messages and updates from emergency service agencies, government and community agencies via Twitter and Facebook
  • Add your local information to the online community maps eg "Jones Bridge closed"
  • Look for volunteer projects in your community
  • Rally your family and friends to join you in your volunteer efforts
  • Share the volunteer project messages via Twitter and Facebook


Hashtags on Twitter

  • During and after an emergency, agencies, the media and the public use #hashtags eg #hurricane #flood #cyclone #earthquake #tornado
  • When a #hashtag is used, the whole world online can see the message
  • Following a hashtag gives you instant information on that emergency
  • Sometimes more than one #hashtag is used eg #irene, #hurricane
  • Beware – information may not be correct or rumour (which spreads quickly online)
  • Watch for official messages from emergency agencies and the media
  • Download the Twitter smartphone app to receive the messages wherever you are
  • If you couldn't tell your friends and family you were safe during the emergency, do so now. Include their twitter names in your tweet (put @theirname) to ensure they see your message


Emergency Agencies are using Facebook to issue emergency and recovery information in real time.

  • 'Like' the key agencies in your area to ensure you receive their messages.
  • Download the Facebook smartphone app to receive the messages wherever you are.
  • Download the Facebook Ipad app if you have an Ipad
  • It's important to know that even after an emergency, emergency agencies will still be posting information about the recovery phase or will direct you to where the most up-to-date information is
  • Many groups of concerned citizens will have formed to assist in recovery in their local area. To find out if something's happening in your local area, google them and they might have a facebook page you can 'like' to follow their activities. Nb. Not all of these groups are legitimate.
  • If you couldn't tell your friends and family you were safe during the emergency, do so now. Include their facebook names in your status update (put @theirname) to ensure they see your message, or post directly to their wall.

Live broadcasting via Facebook

  • Emergency agencies are using Livestream to live broadcast media conferences on Facebook.
  • Checkout which of your agencies does it now.
  • If they do, there will be a link on their page eg this one for the Queensland Police Service Facebook Page.

Social media resources for people with disabilities

This Accessibility Toolkit provides tips, resources and apps to assist people with a disability to overcome accessibility challenges of social media.

Smartphone Apps


  • Look for and download smartphone apps that provide real time, location-based messages.
  • Look for smartphone apps that enable you to volunteer and contribute to the community recovery phase eg:

App for Hurricane Irene Cleanup Efforts - For Ordinary People Helping Ordinary People

  • Iphone App: [2]
  • Android App: [3]
    • Emergency Preparation and Recovery

This FEMA App contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and Shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster, and the FEMA blog. FEMA App

Real Time Community Maps

During an emergency maps are created online to provide realtime updates from emergency agencies and the community:

  • Add your own information on what is happening in your local area to these maps
  • Look for reports near you
  • Use the report's comments section to connect with neighbours
  • Share community maps on your Facebook page
  • Tweet links to community maps
  • Many community maps have a mobile app that will enable you to view and add information from your mobile phone eg "Jones Bridge closed".

Finding missing people

Google Person Finder

During major disasters, Google, as a community service, may post a "Person Finder" page online enabling members of the public to search for and provide information on missing people. It has two sections:

1. "I'm looking for someone" in which you enter the person's name and do an online search

2. "I have information about someone" in which you enter the person's name and then provide a brief update on their status.

Save Battery Power on your mobile phone

Image courtesy Mediawiki [1]

Top tips

  • Turn on wi-fi
  • Turn off push notifications for services you don't need (leave on emergency services notifications)
  • Turn off push mail
  • Turn off location services that you don't need (leave on apps such as emergency service apps, Twitter, camera, Facebook, maps)
  • Lower brightness
  • Turn off blue tooth
  • Turn off 3G
  • Turn off background app refresh for apps you don't need (leave on apps such as Emergency service apps, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, maps)
  • Close your background apps
  • Don't play games
  • Don't watch YouTube

Iphone Instructions

  • Turn on wi-fi - go to > Settings > Wi-Fi to access and select a Wi-Fi network
  • Turn off push notifications - go to > Settings > Notifications and set Notifications to Off.
  • Turn off push mail - go to > Settings> Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and set Push to 'Off'. Then under > Fetch - "Set to Hourly" or "Manually" to get it yourself
  • Turn off the location services that you don't need (leave on Emergency service apps, Twitter, Camera, Facebook, Maps). Go to > Settings > General > Location Services. Then switch off those you don't need.
  • Lower brightness (or to dim backlight) - go to > Settings > Brightness - then move the slider to lower the brightness or you can turnon Auto-Brightness
  • Turn off bluetooth - Settings > General > Bluetooth and set Bluetooth to Off.
  • Turn off 3G (if you don't need it) Go to Settings > General > Network and set Enable 3G to Off. You will still be able to make and receive calls and access cellular data networks via EDGE or GPRS where available.
  • Turn off background app refresh - go to > Settings > General > Background App Refresh - then slide to off each app you don't need.

  • Close your background apps following the steps below:

For iOS 6 or earlier

  • double tap ‘home button’
  • This will bring up a row with all your running apps
  • Hold down the app until it wiggles.
  • A red circle with a minus sign will appear on the top left corner
  • Tap the app and it will disappear
  • The app is now closed. You can still access the app from the main menu

For iOS 7 or 8

  • double tap 'home button'
  • Close each open app by touching it and flicking it up towards the top of the screen
  • The app is now closed. You can still access the app from the main menu

For More information visit appleiphone site [4]
Also see the wiki Emergency 2.0 Stay/Go Kit Checklist [5]

(This section needs more development - tips for other phones)



Future Scenario - What will an emergency 2.0 recovery community look like? Emergency 2.0 Wiki

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