Tag Archives: Disasters

Boston EMS tweets touching message to emergency staff responding to West, Texas, explosion

If anything deserves to be said, it’s the compassionate thing.

Tips for PIOs in an Emergency

Great tip from Jim here on the dangers of pre-scheduled tweets. Pre-scheduling and auto-tweeting are a good thing, overall, but never leave it there with no human intervention. You need to shut them down, if needed. And oh, by the way, you need to monitor reactions to those auto-posts!

Amateur Videos, Photos Crucial In Boston Bombing Investigation

To post or not to post? That is the question

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Some may think it just a tad early to publish an analysis like this one from Purple Car but for those helping those helping others deal with this tragedy, I think it’s a worthwhile read. If you are uncomfortable with thinking about this right now, I fully understand. Perhaps you can bookmark the link and come back to it later. It really is a good topic of discussion for social media and emergency management (SMEM) and the blog is well worth adding to one’s feed.

What is and is not appropriate to post during and directly after a tragedy like the #BostonMarathon explosions or #SandyHook is something that I think we all grapple with. Note that I make a distinction between posting as a bystander and posting as virtual operations support teams (VOST), in which case, one would have specific knowledge of the incident.

My personal [bystander] rules tend to be:

  1. Does the post help people (donation links, missing persons, etc)?
  2. Does it inform without conjecture (need to know – road closures; evacuation info, e.g., rather than simply breaking news)?
  3. Does it comfort (think Mr. Rogers)?

If it does none of the above, I would question its usefulness. What do you think? Do you have different rules? More rules?

Two ways to look at volcanic activity

I found it amusing to find the following two items appear consecutively in my news feed this morning. First, this piece on the possibility and potential impact of a North American volcano (hat tip RSOE EDIS on Facebook):

…and, immediately after, this:

Centripetal Farce by Mr. Lovenstein (http://www.mrlovenstein.com/comic/66)

Centripetal Farce by Mr. Lovenstein (http://www.mrlovenstein.com/comic/66)

Video About Controlled Burns

This is a nice (short) educational video, which apparently made it to TV news in Florida. The source is the Wonderopolis Blog, which is a fun blog to poke around: Are All Forest Fires Bad?.

Controlled Burn from Mark Leeps on Vimeo.

Starting Early: Financial Preparation for Disasters and Emergencies

***Webinar Reminder***

Starting Early: Financial Preparation for Disasters and Emergencies 

Tuesday, April 9

3:00 p.m. EDT 

Next week, on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Operation Hope will co-host a free webinar entitled, “Starting Early: Financial Preparation for Disasters and Emergencies.” During this event, personnel from these Federal and non-profit partner organizations will highlight best practice programs and tools to engage local communities on the often-overlooked financial aspect of disaster preparedness.

If you are a public official, emergency preparedness professional, financial service professional or a financial education / counseling provider we invite and encourage you to attend this important event.

For more information or to register, please visit:  http://connect.hsin.gov/financiallita/event/registration.html.

Please use this link if you are already a registered HSIN user and simply need to log in to the webinar: http://connect.hsin.gov/financiallita/event/registration_login.html.

Wildfire isn’t listening

Formidable Footprint – Wildfire / Tornado / Earthquake Exercises

 Received via e-mail today:

Please Share This Important Disaster Exercise Opportunity With Others


National Community / Neighborhood Exercise Series


The series of Formidable Footprint exercises for neighborhood, community and faith based organizations continues.

January 26 – Wildfire / February 23 – Tornado / March 30 – Earthquake 


Exercises have also been scheduled for the following scenarios:

Flood – Hurricane – Influenza Pandemic – Solar Storm


The Formidable Footprint exercise series has been developed in accordance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols. The objective of the exercise series is for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Neighborhood Associations, Community / Faith Based Organizations, Citizen Corps, Fire Corps and others to work as a team to become better prepared for the next disaster their community may face.

To-date 2,327 teams from across the United States have participated in one of several of the previous Formidable Footprint exercises. Here are several testimonials from participants in previous exercises:

Benicia Emergency Response Team – Benicia California

The drill Saturday was a wonderful learning experience and quit valuable. Looking forward to future opportunities.

Rowlett CERT – Rowlett Texas

Superb End-To-End exercise. Our organization really enjoyed this exercise.

American Red Cross – California

This was our first experience with this series of exercises. It appears to be very valuable. We will recruit the rest of the team to participate in a future exercise. Thank you

There is NO CHARGE for participation in any of the Formidable Footprint exercises.

For additional information or to register for up-coming exercises please access the following web site today:


Stay informed regarding future exercises by joining the Formidable Footprint LinkedIn Group.

Please Share This Important Disaster Exercise Opportunity With Others

Should I stay or should I go? Evacuating the elderly during Sandy

It would seem to me that when receiving mixed messages about storm strength, one should err on the side of resident safety. People may second guess your having evacuated but the alternative is this. Just sayin’.

The city health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said he and Dr. Shah believed the storm was weakening and would be no worse than Tropical Storm Irene when they made the initial decision not to evacuate the health care facilities on Friday, Oct. 26, three days before landfall. At that point, there would have been ample time to carry out a full and well-organized evacuation of the nursing homes and adult homes, which would have taken at least two days.

While the National Hurricane Center in Miami had warned of “historic urban flooding” in New York City, local National Weather Service officials issued contradictory public advisories on Friday and early Saturday that said there would be only “moderate flooding.”

Inside the city’s emergency management center, the local weather officials reported that the storm surge would be similar to the one during Tropical Storm Irene — four to eight feet.

An eight-foot surge was an important marker: after Tropical Storm Irene, Dr. Shah and Dr. Farley had said in interviews that they believed many nursing homes and adult homes could not withstand a surge of that level.

But Mr. Bloomberg, at a news conference on Oct. 26, announced: “At this point we are not — let me repeat that, not — recommending evacuations of these facilities.”

By Saturday night, the predictions were growing more dire, but Dr. Shah and Dr. Farley said they reconsidered but did not change their decision.