Post by: Kim Stephens
FEMA consumed the majority of the Social Media and Emergency Management conversation on Twitter yesterday with their announcement of an update to their mobile application allowing people to post images of damage after a disaster: read more on Mashable. Another interesting development–yet, much less discussed–was the announcement of their new “Social Hub” a feature on the FEMA mobile website.
The Social Hub, as indicated by FEMA staff member Jason Lindy, pulls in Tweets from official or trusted sources and organizes them by topic. The site can be viewed on the desktop but has a better user experience on a mobile device, the intended platform.
A Visual JIC
This new feature is a great addition to FEMA’s social presence since it allows for a “one-stop shop” of information from all response partners (see the screen capture on the right). I think it is also a visual demonstration of how each organization and government agency should continue to post content relevant to their “lane” to the audience they have already built. The “Social Hub” aggregates that content and literally puts everyone on the same page. The site can also help community members find relevant voices: when viewing the content they will clearly see information provided not only by FEMA headquarters and regional offices, but probably even more importantly, from local officials.
National Capital Region
FEMA is not the only organization that has realized the value of having a Social Hub. The National Capital Region also has a News and Information Page that provides a similar feature–including alerts from partner agencies throughout the region. The page highlights and provides links to four main content areas: Emergency Alerts, Weather, Traffic, and Utility information.
By building the page they recognize that the public might not define “emergency” the same way that Emergency Management officials do. Large traffic incidents, poor road conditions and bad weather can be an emergency for an individual. Another great feature is that the links are not simply provided but the content is pulled into the site, also making it a one-stop shop for information.
Although the public can view official content directly on social networks by sorting information based on key words–I think these aggregated pages provide a valuable service. If you know of any similar sites, let me know!
- FEMA App Adds Crowdsourcing for Disaster Relief (mashable.com)