Two events this week which highlight the role of social media in both preparedness and emergency response:

First up, a Twitter Town Hall will occur at 10:00a PDT/1:00p EDT on Tuesday, October 2nd.  This chat will use the hashtag #NatlPrepChat and is being promoted by @ReadyDotGov on Twitter. Presumably, this conversation will center around how folks used social media in their preparedness efforts.

Secondly, there will be a Social Media Workshop at the National Emergency Management Association (#NEMA) Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington on Saturday, October 6th from 9a-11:30a PDT/12p-2:30p EDT.  During this event, the hashtag #SMEMForum will be encouraged.

For the past 2 years, the National Emergency Management Association has placed a strong emphasis on bridging Social Media & Emergency Management.  In March 2011, SMEMCamp took place which provided an all-day focus on social media its emergence into the world of emergency managers.  In March 2012, a diverse panel presentation was offered on current practices and use of social media for response, preparedness, and recovery.

This week, the stage will be busy with 16 different speakers who will all share how social media is changing the way we communicate and share information.  The schedule and speaker biographies follow…hope you’ll join the conversation on Twitter throughout these 2.5 hours.

Social Media Workshop (#SMEMForum)

  • 9:00a-9:10a     Introduction of Workshop Process (@cherylble)
  • 9:10a-9:20a     NEMA Survey on Social Media (@nerdyev)
  • 9:20a-9:30a     Global Disaster & Humanitarian Relief (@gislio)
  • 9:30a-9:50a     News Media (@wastro, @evonnebenedict, @sethlong)
  • 9:50a-10:00a   From Zoonotics to Zombies: Public Health Outreach (@alisha_beth)
  • 10:00a-10:10a  Evolving Public Expectations for Emergency Information (@sabrak)
  • 10:10a-10:20a  Stand Up & Stretch Break
  • 10:20a-10:30a  Pledged to Protect & Serve: Law Enforcement (@seattlepd)
  • 10:30a-10:40a  Social Media in Higher Education (@scba)
  • 10:40a-10:50a  Regional Collaboration: The Whatcom Unified Case Study (@mdeyerin)
  • 10:50a-11:00a  Adapting Public Information Training (@waemd)
  • 11:00a-11:20a  VOST & Digital Volunteers (@_jsphillips, @schuback)
  • 11:20a-11:30a  Putting the Pieces Together: Getting Started (@cherylble)

Speaker Bios

Alisha Griswold ~ Alisha is an Emergency Manager for the Port of Seattle and the Founder and Chair of the Emerging Technology Caucus for the International Association of Emergency Managers.  Prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Alisha worked as an Emergency Planner for the Johnson County Health Department in Kansas, where she developed innovative approaches to preparing for, and responding to, large-scale biological disasters.  Alisha is a self-described “geek” and relishes any opportunity to find ways of leveraging new tech tools as instruments of inclusion and greater understanding.

Cheryl Bledsoe ~ Cheryl is a local Emergency Manager who has been responsible for implementing the social media footprint at the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) in Vancouver, Washington.  She chatters frequently on the #SMEM hashtag on Twitter, administrates www.sm4em.org and likes to play games like #30days_30ways.

Elizabeth Vaughn ~ Elizabeth is an Emergency Manager for the Clark County Government in Washington State, focusing on employee readiness, emergency preparedness, and continuity of government planning. Prior to becoming a full-time “Emergency Manager”, Elizabeth worked in Southwest Washington as a public health emergency preparedness and response planner and infectious disease epidemiologist .  Elizabeth earned her Master’s of Public Health in Community Health Practice at the University of Arizona, where she also researched social norms and health behavior change.  Elizabeth is a self-described “nerd of many things” including simplifying crisis communications, promoting the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and creating new recipes for her yet-to-be published cook book!

Evonne Benedict ~ Evonne started her career as a broadcast journalist, working in television for several years. She has incorporated that background into her current focus on digital journalism. As social media manager, she oversees KING 5 accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and others. She trains and supports KING 5 staff in their social media and community efforts. Evonne is passionate about the KING 5 community, and the two-way conversation between KING 5 and its viewers/readers.  Born in Seattle, she never carries an umbrella and optimistically wears sunblock every day of the year.

Gisli Olafsson ~ Gisli is the Emergency Response Director of NetHope. He is responsible for emergency preparedness and emergency response activities related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within the NetHope member organizations. Gisli has over 17 years of experience in the field of disaster management and is an active member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, a team of experienced disaster managers which are on stand-by to deploy anywhere in the world on 6 hour notice to coordinate the first response of the international community to disasters on behalf of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Jeff Phillips ~ Jeff is a local Emergency Manager in New Mexico and former Chief of Response and Recovery at the New Mexico Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (NMDHSEM). He has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Economics.  Jeff has been practicing Social Media in his Emergency Management program since 2009 and is developed the Virtual Operations Support (VOST) concept and has led six major VOST activations in the past year.

Marcus Deyerin ~ Marcus is the Emergency Response Planner for the Whatcom County Health Department, and serves as a PIO for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team, as well as in various roles on his local county-level IMT. He has a MA in National Security Policy and Technology from Georgetown University, which equipped him to accurately perceive social media early on as both a disruptive technology with global geo-strategic implications, as well as the ideal platform for inane chatter about the lives of goats.

Mark Clemens ~ Mark is the spokesperson and PIO for the Washington Emergency Management Division’s External Affairs (EA) team during emergencies. He develops and maintains EA materials and communications tools, including social media applications; and training PIOs in basic techniques and joint operations. He was a field PIO for FEMA on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Mark Jamieson ~ Mark is one of three full -time Public Information Officers for the Seattle Police Department, the largest police department in Washington State.  In addition to the traditional PIO duties, Mark and the other detectives have embraced social media with their Blotter and Twitter posts.

Matt Wastradowski ~ Matt is a Communications & Media Editor for the University of Washington Alumni Association, where he writes and edits for a variety of media to spotlight campus events. Prior to moving to Seattle, he was the social media coordinator with the Columbian (@TheColumbian) newspaper in Vancouver, Washington. There, Matt increased engagement, conducted extensive social media training, and spearheaded new efforts as part of the company’s social strategy.

Pascal Schuback ~ Pascal is the Global Travel Security & Information Manager for the University of Washington, where he is also coordinating the Global Emergency Management Plan, and is responsible for situational awareness, continuity and response to global incidents. He is a board member of CrisisCommons, a global network of volunteers who use creative problem solving and open technologies to help people, agencies and communities in times of crisis.  He has been working on numerous projects, including integrating social media, aiding public safety & disaster response globally, using Virtual Operations Support Teams for incidents including forest fires; flooding; earthquakes and winter storms globally and building a university based global situational awareness tool. He received a MPA from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University and is a Certified Emergency Manager.

Sabra Schneider ~ Sabra is the Director of Electronic Communications for the City of Seattle, overseeing the Citywide Webteam, the Seattle Channel and Community Technology areas. She has an 18-year career in public service that includes teaching social media for the Evans School at the University of Washington, leading social media communications for King County and teaching web and communications technologies for South Seattle Community College. Sabra has an MPA from the University of Washington and a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Sarah Miller ~ Sarah is the Emergency Preparedness Manager for the City of Auburn and an adjunct faculty member in emergency management at Jacksonville State University. She’s a geek, who’s been using the Internet socially for far longer than there has been social media. She’s currently finishing her PhD dissertation on disaster preparedness in domestic violence service organizations. Sarah lives near Seattle with her husband and four ferocious felines.

Seth Long ~ Seth is the Director of New Media for Sound Publishing in Washington State, where he looks after 40+ local community news and niche content sites, and oversees the company’s online, social and mobile initiatives. He has worked in community journalism for more than 17 years, starting as an agriculture and government reporter in Hermiston, Oregon. Long lives in Tacoma and graduated with a degree in journalism and documentary photography from The Evergreen State College.

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