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Why You Don’t Need a Mass, Social, or Command Centre Alerting System

It’s generally recognized these days that there are better, more efficient, and more targeted ways to alert and inform dispersed people (colleagues, employees, executives, volunteers, partners, etc.) than with mass email blasts, manual call-trees, or public blog posts. Messages, particularly regarding sensitive or crisis situations, can and should be sent privately, smartly, and to only those to which they’re relevant. …

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The Rise of the Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST)

The acronym VOST stands for Virtual Operations Support Team. VOST members are becoming increasingly critical to the successful management of emergencies and disasters. Their efforts help facilitate the recovery from these disruptions through modern communication technologies, especially social media like Twitter, Facebook and other messaging services. They provide support through internet connected devices to workers at emergency and disaster scenes, …

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The Value of Social Capital and Emergent Groups

Last week we had the pleasure to attend the World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM) at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. Great event! The diversity of delegates’ disciplines, the international perspectives, and the quality of sessions were all excellent. Although the Disaster Management field can at times be a fairly diverse mix of Risk Management, Business Continuity, Crisis Communications, Emergency …

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Tech for Good: Leveraging Mobile Technology in the Search for Missing Children

According to Brian Palmer, Slate magazine’s ‘chief explainer,’ it all started with a few pamphlets in the 1970s. At the time, police were often reluctant to intervene when noncustodial parents took off with their children, viewing these incidents as domestic disagreements rather than as kidnappings. Frustrated custodial parents decided to take matters into their own hands, distributing pamphlets containing photographs …

11 examples of bad social media crisis management

In pseudo-celebrity news, did you hear about the most epic brand meltdown on Facebook ever (or so says BuzzFeed)? It happened last night. The husband-and-wife owners of Amy’’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro took to the restaurant’s Facebook Page following an unflattering appearance on Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares to fight unruly commenters. Implosion. Social media can either be the tool that builds a company …

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The pros and cons of Twitter as a disaster alert tool

The difference between an emergency and a catastrophic disaster is communication. Getting the right responders on the scene and mobilizing relief effort requires immediate and simultaneous communication to a wide range of people. Now, for the first time in history, a communications channel has opened up that combines the most effective elements of emergency dispatch, broadcast TV, ham radio, and …