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COVOST: Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team for #18CEMC

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An overview of the Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team (COVOST) presented by the team's volunteer Training Coordinator Kyle Nelson.

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COVOST: Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team for #18CEMC

  1. 1. COVOST - Meeting the Challenge and Providing Virtual Operations Support @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST Presented by: Kyle Nelson, COVOST Training Coordinator (@wxkylenelson) Micki Trost, CO DHSEM Strategic Communications Director (@pio3micki)
  2. 2. Why am I here? Kyle Nelson, M.S. • Training Coordinator, Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team • Instructor – National Disaster Preparedness Training Center • Digital Media Specialist – Epicenter Deployment Support Unit COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  3. 3. COVOST <> You What can COVOST do for you? Challenges and benefits of a worldwide, virtual team COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  4. 4. What is a VOST? VOST = Virtual Operations Support Team A team of trusted agents who support those on site via the internet who may otherwise be overwhelmed by the volume of data generated during a disaster or event. COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  5. 5. What is a VOST? • Perform specific functions as requested by affected agency • Team reports to the VOST Manager who is in contact with On-Scene Liaison Officer COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  6. 6. What is a VOST? VOST trusted agents utilize emerging digital communication technologies and social media tools to support emergency management and disaster recovery. COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  7. 7. What can COVOST do for me? Primary Mission: Monitoring •Emergency information •Situational Awareness •Rumor Control •Trends •Questions Secondary Missions •Development of Tools and Platforms for Official Agency Use •Archiving Digital Media Content •Analysis and Reporting of Digital Media Statistics and Trends COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  8. 8. Colorado VOST Highlights • 2013: Jeffco Sheriff’s Office & Colorado DHSEM begin a partnership. • September 2013: COVOST activates for floods • 2014 • CO DHSEM begins managing the team • Jeffco Sheriff provides background checks & training resources • 2016: COVOST adds volunteer Training Coordinator to assist Team Manager COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  9. 9. What COVOST is NOT •An alternative to an internal, integrated social media communication plan •A task force that you can order up to handle all of your social media needs •An excuse for to use when you do not want to learn social media •Exclusively volunteer •Experts only •Used just for public information needs •Law enforcement intelligence seeking COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  10. 10. Colorado VOST Connection: • Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team: • 60 members strong • Monthly virtual trainings and team meeting • COVOST Mission: To lead and support the State of Colorado and our local Colorado communities through the innovative use of social media and other online tools. • The COVOST can be activated to support any local, county or state agency • Can request via WebEOC or through EMAC COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  11. 11. Notable COVOST Activations ● 2013 Colorado Floods ● 2015 Planned Parenthood Shooting ● Winter X Games ● 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships ● 4/20 “events” ● 2017 Solar Eclipse ● Presidential Candidate & Dignitary Visits COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  12. 12. How Can I Get VOST Support? •Build your own •May be the best option •Build your team to meet the specific needs of your agency and community •Not easy to build or maintain – dedication required! •Activate the Colorado VOST •Established, trained •Statewide availability COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  13. 13. Building a VOST • Analyze your existing social media program: What are we good at / need help with? • Ask why your team would need to activate a VOST • Amplification? Monitoring? Analyzing? Archiving? • Then begin recruitment for potential members • Start with your agency & community • Extend out to the broader virtual community • Consider all potential contributors** • Other timezones/regions • Finally, build a framework for your VOST • Policy and Procedures; Documentation; Tools; Membership Qualifications, etc COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  14. 14. Activation Procedures • Colorado VOST exists to aid local, county and state agencies • To activate the COVOST: • Familiarize yourself with the COVOST Handbook • Determine who will be your On Scene VOST Liaison • Complete the Activation Authorization Form • Submit an official request through WebEOC • * if all else fails, contact Micki Trost • COVOST Manager has authority to approve requests • Requests may be turned down if mission(s) are not specific COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  15. 15. COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST Mission Accepted; VOST Manager contacts Agency On-Scene Liaison VOST Manager sends activation notice to team via Slack VOST Members Check in on Slack & in Workbook Members complete mission(s) as assigned, collaborate & coordinate using virtual tools VOST Manager & Agency Liaison in constant communication; Evaluate if mission(s) are achieved/changing Mission(s) completed; Team Demobilized; After Action Review completed COVOST Activation
  16. 16. COVOST Training Program • Led by Kyle Nelson (@wxkylenelson) • 8-10 trainings per year • No-cost tools and techniques • Virtual (remote) Training Platform • YouTube training video archive • Member interest & emerging technologies dictate topics • Members & guests lead trainings too • Guest Topic/Tool/Technique Experts wanted! COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  17. 17. COVOST Training - Challenges • No team budget = no-cost tools • Virtual (remote) training format • Interaction & retention • Member profiles o Worldwide o Varying skill levels and experience o Volunteer time in addition to daily duties • Digital Media Tools evolve (perishable skills) COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  18. 18. COVOST Member Point of View • Why did I join? • WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? • Learning • Networking • Growth • Leadership • Team Support COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  19. 19. VOST Final Thoughts: • VOST directly benefits you, your agency and your community • Building and managing your own VOST is best • COVOST is here to help! • COVOST is available for activation on your incident or event • Requests must have a defined mission with a VOST Liaison assigned • Please understand that we are still learning as well • COVOST is looking for additional members! Consider joining today! COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  20. 20. VOST Resources COVOST: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dhsem/covost DHS Social Media Working Group https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/smwg-documents Project EPIC out of the University of Colorado: epic.cs.colorado.edu Leysia Palen, University of Colorado Boulder http://cmci.colorado.edu/~palen/papers.html #SMEMCHAT – Every Friday at 10:30am Mountain Time •Twitter Chat on topics related to Social Media & Emergency Management #SMEM, #VOST, #LESM, #SM4PH, #SM4FD, #EMGTwitter COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  21. 21. Questions? Ask me anything! COVOST Training Coordinator: Kyle Nelson - @wxkylenelson @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST
  22. 22. Thank You! Kyle Nelson, COVOST Training Coordinator linkedin.com/in/wxkylenelson @wxkylenelson wxkylenelson@gmail.com Micki Trost, CO DHSEM Strategic Communications Director @pio3micki micki.trost@state.co.us Ready to Join? Want to learn more about the team? https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dhsem/covost @COEmergency - @READYColorado - @COVOST

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