Active Projects

#SMEM Initiative

  • The #SMEM Initiative began on Twitter on November 11, 2010 when a couple of emergency managers began using the hashtag to mean Social Media in Emergency Management.
  • For over a year, people have chatted on this hashtag about practices, sharing relevant articles and hosting a weekly Twitter chat on Fridays from 12:30p-1:30p called #SMEMChat.

#VOSG / #VOST (Virtual Operations Support Group or Team Concept)

  • This concept was initially conceived by Jeff Phillips (@LosRanchosEM) and tested during the #SMEM11 camp at NEMA. A concept paper was developed which outlines the process that was used.
  • This concept continues to be refined and has been used in a number of large-scale events since 2011 including wildfires, tornadoes, law enforcement events and hurricanes.
  • The VOSG website can be located at
  • Additional articles about VOST may be found at and on the Canada VOST Wiki page.
  • A VOST Leadership Coalition meets monthly via teleconference to debrief activations and discuss team development issues. If you are developing a VOST team and would like to join this coalition, contact Cheryl Bledsoe at to be added to our roster.

#VSMWG (Virtual Social Media Working Group) as hosted by DHS Science & Technology Directorate

  • This is an appointed group of emergency services people across the nation who are working on developing social media best practices and guidelines for governance. Information about this group is hosted on the First Responders Communities of Practice website. Membership in FRCoP must be requested and sponsored by a public agency.
  • This group has created a number of white paper about social medias emerging use in emergencies and engagement and hosted popular FEMA webinars to acquaint new users to the applications of social media in crisis.
  • For more information about this initiative, contact Sara Cohen (@saraestescohen).

IAEM Emerging Technologies Caucus

  • This caucus, is a subcommittee of the International Association of Emergency Management (IAEM) and is a group of emergency management professionals who are researching and evaluating new technologies for recommendations to the broader community. Information about the group may be found on the IAEM Website.
  • For more information about this initiative, contact Mary Jo Flynn (@maryjofly).

Crisis Commons & Crisis Camps

  • CrisisCommons is a global network of volunteers who use creative problem solving and open technologies to help people and communities in times and places of crisis. Seeks not only coders, programmers, geo-spatial and visualization ninjas but collaborative, smart and savvy folks who can lead teams, manage projects, search the internet, translate languages, apply intuitive and universal access interfaces. Initiative embraces innovation and open systems. Their work can be found online at:

#CrisisData as hosted by the American Red Cross

Project EPIC as hosted by the University of Colorado & University of California at Irvine

Humanity Road

  • Humanity Roads mission is to educate the public before, during and after disasters about how to survive, sustain and reunite with loved ones after disasters. Their main website is located at

Emergency Wiki 2.0

LinkedIn Group Discussions

  • #SMEM Group Discussions on the LinkedIn Platform include a variety of conversations about different aspects of emergency management.

#SMEM Training Courses