Post by: Kim Stephens
Social media is still somewhat new for emergency management and related disciplines and therefore sharing information and best practices (and even failures) continues to be important. This is one of the goals I have for my own blog and is a driving force behind a lot of great sites: Canadian Patrice Cloutier’s Crisis Comms Command Post, 999socialmedia from Great Britain, Cheryl Bledsoe’s sm4em.org, Jim Garrow’s blog The Face of the Matter, as well as the U.S. DHS sponsored First Responder’s Community of Practice (FRCOP). (The problem with a list is that you inevitably leave someone out–see my blog roll for a longer list.)
As can be gleaned from my list, lessons and best practices do not have to be limited to the United States. Earlier this year I wrote extensively about Australia and the Queensland Police Service‘s use of social media during the unprecedented flooding in January and then the subsequent Tsunami. Their example is truly something to be emulated and they continue to be a world leader in the use of social media for emergency management. These disasters spurred the Gov 2.0 (gov2qld) initiative in Queensland to explore how social media was used in disasters and to determine how best to share those lessons as well as new “learnings”. They decided a Wiki would be the best platform not only for knowledge sharing but also for collaboration. The platform that was ultimately created is for use by all disciplines and stakeholders: emergency, government, not for profit, community, business, education and media. They also were interested in including the public in order to ensure they have the knowledge “to use social media to better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.”Find their site here: Emergency 2.0 wiki.
As a side note, this effort really highlights how social media has brought collaboration and cooperation across emergency managers internationally. I love the fact that they have the #SMEM twitter hashtag rolling on their opening page. They also list many U.S. blogs (including my own and sm4em.org) on their resource page. Many in the Australian Emergency Management community also participate on the #SMEM hashtag (but not the chats since they are in the middle of the night for them). The hashtag is where I first saw them announce the wiki.
International collaboration is certainly one of FEMA’s goals. Just today, on the FEMA blog, they posted about International Partnerships and discussed how the Administrator Fugate and Deputy Administrator Serino met with they Russian emergency management counterparts in Boston. ”Unbeknownst to many, building and strengthening our partnerships with the international community is a large focus for us at FEMA.” We, it seems, in the SMEM community, have somewhat unwittingly created international collaboration as well. As the FEMA blog post stated:
“We may live in vastly different places, but we’re part of the same team – and we have a lot to learn from each other in the international community.”
Watch this video about how the QLD wiki got started and the goals for their site.
- 10 Ways for Emergency Managers to Boost Facebook Content (idisaster.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Best Practice: Hospital Evacuation (thielst.typepad.com)
- Processing and Analyzing Social Media in a Crisis (idisaster.wordpress.com)