Prince George’s County Emergency Preparedness Conference - Sept 28, 2013

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Montgomery County CERT was invited to participate as a guest speaker on the topic of social media in emergency management. I spoke about our award-winning social media pilot project that was deployed during the March 2013 snow storm. Members of Montgomery County CERT were deployed, both virtually (from the confines of their home) and physically (within the Emergency Operations Center)

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Prince George’s County Emergency Preparedness Conference - Sept 28, 2013

  1. 1. 2013 Prince George’s County Emergency Preparedness Conference  Creating Resilient Communities Social Media & Emergency Management Steve Peterson, President Montgomery County CERT president@montgomerycert.org www.facebook.com/montcocert @montcocert September 28, 2013
  2. 2. March 2013 Winter Storm • Montgomery County CERT volunteers provided social media  monitoring support within the EOC – Assigned three 8‐hour shifts (with overlap)  – Maintained a non‐disruptive EOC physical presence – Provided SM updates to EOC manager – Followed trending topics – 9 hours monitoring from own SM accounts
  3. 3. Valuable Situational Topics • • • • • • • • Road conditions  Weather conditions  Other EOC activations Photos of accidents Power company contact information Power outage maps  Hash tags to track Agencies to follow/like Most valuable contributions came in the morning during the heaviest of snow
  4. 4. Valuable Social Media Contributors • Maryland Emergency Management Agency • Weather Channel • Montgomery County Fire and Rescue • Baltimore County Police & Fire • NBC 29 News • Virginia Department of Transportation • Maryland State Highway Administration
  5. 5. How It Worked 2 provided  verified  info for Posts ReTweet ReTweet Tweets Posts Tweets Authoritative  Tweet 3 ReTweet ReTweet ReTweet 4 1 GENERAL PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY COMMUNICATIONS GENERAL PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS
  6. 6. Lessons Learned • Pre‐established understanding • Non‐disruptive EOC physical presence • Disciplined in providing updates to EOC manager • Overlap in shift times • Same computer for each shift • Remained flexible in changing weather conditions (shift cut)
  7. 7. Challenges • Searching for certainty through the noise – Example: DuPont Circle snow ball fight • Verification of information • Resource allocation  – Necessary to verify information before action taken or dissemination
  8. 8. Moving Forward • Continue pursuing social media monitoring in future  emergencies • Formalize training – – – – – – – Reporting protocols EOC etiquette Social media monitoring understandings Searching trending topics and keywords Following/Liking involved agencies Identifying valuable contributors How to verify information
  9. 9. Thank You Steve Peterson, President Montgomery County CERT president@montgomerycert.org www.facebook.com/montcocert @montcocert

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