Community Resilience 2.0

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Communication is a key component for a community resilience program. The Internet supports individual and group needs to serve social aspects Social Media and other Web 2.0 technologies like Facebook and Twitter that can be used to serve a number of purposes for various stakeholders during various phases of emergency management. Recently, the aftermath of the Iran Election demonstrated the power behind social media such as Twitter, using technology already in people’s possession, like cell phones with camera capability, iPhones, Blackberries and such. Moreover, people know these technologies and/or can easily learn to use them. Groups can create accounts in Facebook and Twitter for free where accounts can be authenticated for official use. These can be used for a variety of purposes (e.g., for the distribution of information, event announcements, individual expert identification, mass emailing, situational awareness) where each can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual, business, government entity, education facility, hospital or any ad hoc group formations.

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Community Resilience 2.0

  1. 1. Community Resilience 2.0<br />Connie White<br />connie.m.white@gmail.com<br />Communication is a key component for a community resilience program. The Internet supports individual and group needs to serve social aspects Social Media and other Web 2.0 technologies like Facebook and Twitter that can be used to serve a number of purposes for various stakeholders during various phases of emergency management. Recently, the aftermath of the Iran Election demonstrated the power behind social media such as Twitter, using technology already in people’s possession, like cell phones with camera capability, iPhones, Blackberries and such. Moreover, people know these technologies and/or can easily learn to use them. Groups can create accounts in Facebook and Twitter for free where accounts can be authenticated for official use. These can be used for a variety of purposes (e.g., for the distribution of information, event announcements, individual expert identification, mass emailing, situational awareness) where each can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual, business, government entity, education facility, hospital or any ad hoc group formations. Such uses include:<br /><ul><li>Expediting recovery efforts through quicker communication restoration.
  2. 2. There are so many ways that people can send and receive information, post information, or tweet important bits of information for others to retrieve using social media. The more quickly communications are restored, the better. Given the multiple ways people can interact, using social media will expedite recovery efforts. Local access may be disrupted, but the Internet is a distributed web and can be used by those in the peripheral areas of the disaster, bringing information closer to those who need it most to those without any information.
  3. 3. Building, maintaining, and strengthening relationships between partners prior to an emergency.
  4. 4. On a business level, Social Media provides a better means for networking and connecting on a deeper level information-wise, that is consistent and more searchable than any rolodex. This can help strengthen relationships prior to any disaster, or maintain records after the event given the records will still be intact and available. On a personal level, Social Media can help loved ones keep in touch with one another. It can allow people to let others know that they are ok. Social media can also be used to help 1st responders and others working in the field deal with the stress of not being with family. Using video, pics, emails, and other media rich technologies can help relieve the worry and stress about family and so help people focus on their work.
  5. 5. Organizing grassroots efforts that use community members as resources.
  6. 6. The first responders to any scene are often the local public. After checking on family, people check on neighbors. Given the overwhelming need for information reporting and the state of the 911 intake capability, social media provides other means to upload information to the appropriate people. Citizen volunteers can be used to monitor, filter and distribute information during these times as well as during non-crisis times. Databases of information on community members can help neighbors and volunteers network, providing aid to those in need and increasing the community’s ability to be self sustained in the event of a disaster.
  7. 7. Helping to identify resources using maps and other GIS capabilities
  8. 8. Social media provides a mapping ability where users can click on a location on a map and enter information, pics, and videos and such to augment disaster relief information. The Social GIS ability can help in recovery efforts and also in reporting damage so that emergency management can quickly get the information required for funding. More accurate information can be obtained more quickly, expediting assessment and hence, funding efforts.
  9. 9. Broadcasting Public Announcements and other Informative Messages
  10. 10. Social media provides many ways for government officials or anyone to post videos on official or non official sites to private or public groups. This saves time and money as it can be accomplished at little cost with great rapidity. This makes it such that those who need to be focusing on bigger problems can more quickly return to their duties and also post information to the press or others who need it.</li></ul>It’s important to understand that social media can be used for a variety of ways to help communities to be more resilient. If a community were to embrace the technology for its power, once there is an effective saturation level, the community would be stronger because communications are stronger, information is passed along more freely and other media rich technologies leverage the stakeholder’s ability to work collaboratively so that there is a more efficient and resilient community. Fugate recently stated, “The public, including the private sector and nonprofits, must be included in the mitigation process and that means emergency managers, even at the federal level, will have to begin to trust " the public and their devices," including Twitter, Fugate said.”<br />

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