I am a big champion for building community social
connectedness. My favorite tool for bringing people together is Nextdoor.Com.
With this application, we have been able to connect over 30 percent of my neighborhood
in one place on-line. We talk about family topics, garage sale items and free
plant stock to stranger danger. It is a fantastic new tool for gathering folks together
in an everyday conversation. It may just be the new “front porch” in today’s
busy world. Try it and check my comments out on CBS news here in Portland,
Oregon. Thank you, Betsy Shand.
Portland, Oregon has been doing Comprehensive Planning since about 1976 and they have just recently incorporated emergency preparedness into their plans. The City is establishing nodes where residents will find caches of some emergency supplies in the event of a big disaster such as an earthquake. The hard part is keeping these items safe in the interim. The idea is to have emergency communications equipment that anyone can use if phone lines go down. Read more about it at the following link:
Suzanne Choney of NBC News reports that following the bomb
blasts in Boston these social media tools are being used:
The best mainstream resource is the Red Cross’ Safe and Well site.
You can do two things at this site: register yourself as being “safe and well,” or find out other people’s status. Those people will have to register with the site first, of course.
Google has activated its Person Finder service to help people locate each other.
The search giant has used this in the past, for both U.S. and international crises, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Japan’s 2011 tsunami strike.
If you have loved ones who ran in the Boston Marathon, you can check on their last check-ins at the marathon’s website here. (A marathon enthusiast set up an independent Facebook page where some are checking in, too.)
According to Sara Estes Cohen, project manager for G&H Int. providing support to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security:
“In the days up to and immediately following Sandy’s landfall, FEMA had a team watching the nearly 20 million Twitter messages posted about Sandy to better identify what was happening on the ground and put out timely safety information. On Oct. 29, the day Sandy made landfall, FEMA reached more than 300,000 people on Facebook (up from an average of 12,000 per day), reached 6 million Twitter users with one message (through retweets by individuals and partners), saw 5,800 mentions on Twitter per hour (of the term “FEMA”) and had more than 500,000 visitors to Ready.gov that day alone. Throughout the storm, the Red Cross pulled more than 2 million posts for review, choosing specific keyword searches relevant to Red Cross services, such as shelter and emotional support. Thirty-one digital volunteers responded to 2,386 of the reviewed posts (versus 500 in Hurricane Isaac). Social media vehicles became primary sources of information for many. Information was verified and rumors were disseminated and dispelled via a variety of tools, including Twitter, Facebook and photo sharing. FEMA launched a Hurricane Sandy: Rumor Control page, which helped to distinguish the truth from false information about contractors, cash cards, food stamps and shelters.”
Read the full story here:
The American College of Emergency Physicians recently
announced the release of its Disaster Hero game, which was designed to reach
multiple audiences — from kids to families to teachers — about what to do
before, during and after a disaster.
The game and its website focus on the importance of creating
an emergency preparedness plan, putting together an emergency kit and being
informed. Players are encouraged to learn about the common types of disasters
that can occur in their area.
For more information, go to www.disasterhero.com