Tag Archives: Disaster Relief

Preparing others financially for a major disaster

OK, I’ll admit that if the zombie apocalypse happens, we may not be able to get to our bank accounts, anyway (and, no, we won’t go there about money in the freezer). Most disasters, however, are well-addressed by normal preparedness plans. If you help others with financial preparedness, this University of Minnesota offering may be just the ticket:

via Ready.gov….

Natural disasters wreak havoc on families in more ways than one. It takes time for survivors to recover emotionally and financially. This webinar series will help professionals assist individuals and families with disaster financial recovery including:

  • Becoming familiar with the “Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit”;
  • Identifying key strategies and resources to help with financial recovery;
  • Determining family financial picture; and
  • Guiding families as they make financial decisions.

The hour-long webinars are held once a month November 26 – March 18 at 2pm CDT.

CISM Resources

life preserver

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

@wildfirediva tweeted out this past week that she was taking a 3-day workshop on CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management). I asked a colleague over a NMDSHEM if they had such a class in New Mexico and she said they do not but that there is a conference and she would let me know when it comes up. I will pass that information along when it comes around to me.

In the meantime, it’s a topic that I really want to know more about, so I’ve been asking around social media for resources and @ArchangelEM (who is awesomesauce, by the way) gave me four links already, so I decided it’s better to put them here and hope that others have suggestions to add.

I only want to add things here that people will endorse. We all can Google things but that doesn’t indicate quality, so if you’ve read something useful or taken a course, that’s what I’m after.

Local wildland firefighter wives help raise funds for fallen and injured firefighters

NOTE: To my knowledge, the 100% donation to WFF goes until the end of the day on July 2nd. After that time please refer to the subsequent blog post, Helping the WFF to contribute directly to Wildland Firefighters Foundation. Thanks



As fire season heats up, a group of spouses and partners of wildland firefighters came together to raise money for fallen and injured firefighters. To accomplish this, a Teespring t-shirt campaign has been created to benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s fallen and injured grant fund.

As a group of over 100 wives and partners of wildland firefighters from around the country, with support and approval from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, we are celebrating a “wild kind of love,” showing our support by selling shirts and sweatshirts. We are asking our local communities to help us support those that answer the call when local forests and grasslands are burning. Many people who love and support wildland firefighters may not be aware of ways to show that love and support. If you are one of those people, or just someone who appreciates these men and women who risk their lives, consider wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Not to be left out, children who love wildland firefighters can now show their support every day, with a “wild child” t-shirt. This shirt was recently added by popular demand and is already a huge success.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from shirt sales will go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s Fallen and Injured Grant fund. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation has approved this fundraiser and the purple ribbon symbolizing the fire families’ commitment to wildland firefighters is proudly displayed on the sleeve. There are several options available in both t-shirt and sweatshirts, so please take the time to check them out.

To purchase a t-shirt or sweatshirt, go to http://teespring.com/wildkindoflove and http://www.teespring.com/wildchild. This campaign ends July 2, 2013. For more information about the Wildland Firefighter Foundation or to contribute monetarily, please visit http://wffoundation.org.

Stuff in the news 6/30/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

“…the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is working on a kinder and gentler approach. Though some people are calling it “Whopper Junior,” the BLM pointedly is not. In a preliminary planning document released this month, the BLM’s state director, Jerome E. Perez, said the new approach will be based on what the public wants, science, the law and on the goals of healthy forests, not board feet of timber.”

Stuff in the news 6/21/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

  • I’ve heard this weather referred to as a new dustbowl many times. I don’t think it’s quite that yet but it surely is a drought and something about which we should be concerned. Cross-posted from today’s New Mexico news. 8 Images to Understand the Drought in the Southwest
  • As if a fire weren’t scary enough on its own…  At Chernobyl, Radioactive Danger Lurks in the Trees: For 26 years, forests around Chernobyl have been absorbing radioactive elements but a fire would send them skyward again – a concern as summers grow longer, hotter and drier
  • And elsewhere on the international front, Wildfire training for African locals
  • According to Mammoth Times, Eastern Sierra and other areas of California are really in for it this year (as if it’s been a cakewalk so far)…  Fire season could be ‘worst in 100 years’
  • ESRI Wildfire Activity Map
    ESRI has a current wildfire activity map up. It says that it’s US but it also shows some activity in Canada and in Central America. I believe it is a worldwide tool.
  • Staci Matlock has a good piece in today’s New Mexican about the Jaroso fire and how the IMT is managing it. It was good to see the inclusion of Luke Sheehy’s passing at the beginning of the piece.
  • In Colorado, a Fireworks Company Says They Can Still Shoot Off Displays Safely
    • ““I hate to go there, but I think that a lot of times, these decisions are made and they aren’t thought out, it’s just ‘Hey, we’ve got fire, we’ve got smoke and this is a good story,’ ” Diaz said.”
      • Yeah, given the fire situation in Colorado, probably you don’t want to go there….

Stuff in the news 6/21/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

Stuff in the news 6/19/2013 – Tech

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Helping out our friends at Village Memorial in Portland, OR. They’ve entered a contest on the NASA Tech Briefs website and we want you to know about it and vote for them, if you would, please. The concept behind their project is that pathogens stay resident on a human body after it is dead, even up to a couple of days. This, of course , can be a health hazard to survivors of a disaster or first responders. Village Memorial has developed an eco-friendly method of removing these pathogens through the use of “mycelium enzymatic digestion”, or to use layman terms, pathogen-eating fungi. Here’s their video from YouTube:
  • There will be a full blog post coming soon but I want to mention this because it’s such a great use of virtual tech. I am at my new favorite hangout, Hillside Market, this afternoon and had a very nice chat with  the owners, Trish and Pam, who was paying barista today. Also here was Fernando Aleo, owner of the now closed Epazote restaurant that used to be on Agua Fria in Santa Fe.  Turns out that one of Fernando’s projects has been to host virtual dinners between Santa Fe, NM and Chihuahua, MX. He creates the menus and has staff in both locations and they meet by Skype. Is that not cool? Definitely looking forward to his new ventures here in Santa Fe!
  • Haiku Deck is one of those apps that I’ve been meaning to try but I’m so averse to doing anything on an iPad that I have to see extremely well, like spreadsheets. Still, this article is making me reconsider, as the author is pretty honest about the shortcomings it has. May major worry is the notion that you have to upload the presentation to their server and it’s not reliable. I do have a pico projector, so I suppose I could present directly from the iPad but it’s not ideal, since I like to share my slide decks.
  • Good stuff in here: 50 Ways Your Business Can Get The Most Out of Gmail
  • ” In the future, a grandmother’s crowning achievement—the thing she never forgets to remind her grandchildren about—will be that Justin Bieber retweeted her once. The framed screenshot of the RT will become a family heirloom.” — Has The Internet Changed Our Definition Of Success?
  • Feedly rocks! The pending integration with Sprout Social will make it even better. Feedly Cloud Available to All Users Two Weeks Before Google Reader Shuts Down, Press Updates With Support
  • Four ways OS X Mavericks will save your MacBook’s battery.
    • Great. Now fix the battery life on the iPhone….

Stuff in the news 6/18/2013 – Communication

Vintage Telephone

Image courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Researchers in the UK used AI algorithms to model online reading preferences, using machine learning. The results are somewhat disappointing for my public affairs friends.
    • “The research, led by Nello Cristianini, Professor of , identified the most attractive keywords, as well as the least attractive ones, and explained the choices readers made… Professor Cristianini, speaking about the research, said: “We found significant inverse correlations between the appeal to users and the amount of attention devoted to public affairs… …”People are put off by public affairs and attracted by entertainment, crime, and other non-public affairs topics.”
  • Looking for a robust social media management system. It may require some monetary investment but check out Figure 8 in this Slide Share. A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation
  • “In moments of political and military crisis, people want to control their media and connect with family and friends. And ruling elites respond by investing in broadcast media and censoring and surveilling digital networks.” – Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter
    • Note to ruling elites (and PIOs, as well):  You do not control the message on the interwebs. Get used to it. Engage or be overshadowed. Monitoring is a good thing, if you know what to do with the results.
    • Don’t really get this engagement thing? Here’s one place to start: 3 Models of Citizen Engagement – GovLoop
  • 5 (weird) Ways Government is Experimenting with Social Media
  • Do you really want to know what your cat thinks? Will Translation Devices Soon Allow Us To Talk With Animals? 
  • Use it only for good….  NSA-Style Intelligence Comes To Financial Services Communications
  • “Monitoring electronic conversations just got a lot more powerful with the alliance of Digital Reasoning and OP3Nvoice, announced at SIFMA today.

    Digital Reasoning, with roots in defense and intelligence, can search and understand structured and unstructured data and use it to build a view of underlying entities, facts, relationships and discover geospatial and temporal patterns. OP3Nvoice can monitor audio, video and text conversations across channels including fixed lines, mobile and Skype and search and locate conversations very fast.”

  • If the story is being reported accurately, this policy in River Bend, IL makes so much more sense than just banning teachers and students from “friending each other”. The policy prohibits individual contact, including by phone and requires the teachers to go through parents or a mass messaging system for event cancellations. Have a policy and make it consistent. Social media is just a communication tool. School District Limiting Communication Between Staff and Students
  • In another school district in Massachusetts, a teacher is advocating and implementing a comm plan. How about that? I have concerns about the notion of her students e-mailing her individually and probably would have opted for a collaborative space where they can post pictures without doing that but just the notion that she has a plan for everyone to follow is quite impressive:
    • “Communication protocols and systems create an almost seamless structure which leaves room for more responsive student service and coaching.”
    • Indeed.
  • Apparently, there’s a downside to more connectivity. Increased cell phone coverage tied to uptick in African violence: ‘Significantly and substantially increases the probability of violent conflict’

FEMA: Social Media Affects Disaster Management Playbook

via FEMA….

Twitter and Facebook are growing ever more popular in providing individuals, first responders and the entire emergency management community with the latest disaster information. Social media was definitely a go-to source for major disasters such as Superstorm Sandy and most recently for the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Recent research shows that the old playbooks on disaster management will need to be revised to include a social media plan.  According to Scientific American, researchers have now begun compiling and publishing data to show the impact that social media has on disasters. Lawmakers and security experts are now assessing the data to see how emergency management can adapt to the trends.  Compiled below are some ways to jumpstart your disaster management playbook to align with social media:

  • Build a social media strategy that is adaptable to a variety of hazard situations;
  • Establish a consistent hashtag on Twitter so people can follow the conversation;
  • Ensure you post accurate, not just quick information; and
  • Follow the conversation on social media to debunk any myths right away.

To read the article in its entirety, visit Scientific American.

Stuff in the news 6/12/2013 – Communication

Vintage Telephone

Image courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was going to make this topic social media but I want to keep it out there that social media is just a mode of communication, like the telephone or the megaphone or messages in bottles. Sure, you may have to modify your message to fit it into allotted space but that was true if your dime ran out in a phone booth, too (Remember phone booths?).

  • Former FCC Head: In times of crisis, open WiFi can keep us connected (6/6)
  • Another great use of #Skype –> Fordham Notes: Using Skype to Bridge the Gap Between Cultures – http://bit.ly/13F0taX
  • “What matters more than the goal of language learning is its motivation. Instead of regarding “foreign” language instruction as a means for preserving academic privilege or meeting the demands of a global marketplace, we need to embrace the acquisition of languages as a preparation for one of the most fundamental experiences we share as human beings—the encounter with difference. We should all learn how to become translators so we can appreciate and negotiate the inherent challenges and promises of traversing gaps in meaning between languages and people. Inter-human understanding lies somewhere between the puzzling incommensurability of languages and the utopian desire to achieve the seemingly impossible—a common language.” Source: Patrick M. Erben: Learning Foreign Languages Increases Inter-Human Understanding
  • Interesting…. A quoted statement by Facebook powers-that-be says that they have long allowed scientific photos of the human body and photos of women breast-feeding. Yet friends are still protesting removals of such photos. Who’s right? Old protest, as sometimes happens? What is it that makes some people not want to talk about such things? How can a mother feeding her child be obscene? Strange, that.  Facebook Announces It Will Now Allow Post-Mastectomy Photos
  • Nothing new here, in my opinion. I’ve long put hashtags on my page for searchability and archiving during fires and other disasters. Use of hashtags is perfectly fine. Using Facebook as if it were Twitter and posting blow by blow accounts of an event, not so much. How hashtags will change Facebook | Digital Trends

  • Another book for the queue… Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection [Kindle Edition] It turns out I actually agree with the author of the essay that he is reviewing on his blog here…

“Dobelli asks, “Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business.” Most stories, he argues, “are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic.”

But I’m interested to see Ethan Zuckerman’s arguments to the contrary. – See more at: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2013/06/12/linking-news-and-action/#sthash.0Lh2e1td.dpuf