Post by: Kim Stephens
Missouri is no stranger to disasters, including deadly tornadoes and other severe weather events. In an effort to help the public understand these threats and how to protect themselves, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) created the website “Storm Aware.” This site is currently one of my favorite locations for emergency preparedness information. Why? Because although they provide the standard “Get a Kit, Be Prepared” content you might find on any emergency management website, they also include great YouTube videos that demonstrate exactly “what to do” during a disaster event. The videos are very professional, and…they produced all of them in-house.
Why use YouTube?
When producing videos it is important to publish them on a social video platform for many reasons. “Social” videos not only increase the opportunity for the content to get viewed, it also helps resource-strapped local emergency management agencies or public health organizations who can re-post the video on their own websites or social platforms. Another great reason to use social video can be found by reading YouTube’s most recent statistics (see this page)–in sum, it’s where the people are:
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month;
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year;
- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network;
- YouTube also allows for accessibility, such as the ability to easily include closed captioning.
In a conversation with Mike O’Connell, the SEMA Public Information Officer, he indicated that they felt so strongly about posting visual content to the new Storm Aware site that they didn’t wait until they had all the videos on their to-do list produced; instead, they put them up as they were completed.
Impact Based Warnings
The most recent addition to SEMA’s video library is about the National Weather Service’s new “impact-based language.” This new, and much stronger language, is currently being used in Missouri and surrounding states to describe tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings. The video description states: “The NWS hopes to better communicate to the public the potential danger of particularly powerful storms.” I’ve embedded the video below.
How about your organization? Tell me about any interesting videos you have produced.