I recall in September 2005 following Katrina’s landfall doing nothing but blogging about the storm and issues related to it for two solid weeks. I even started a blog to post about Katrina-related jobs. That was then, this is now.
Gustav brought with it many more options to keep friends and family updated about our status or for use in sharing news about disaster response.
- FEMA widget – Note the widget in the sidebar. That’s something Homeland Security put together.
- Twitter – Many people used Twitter to update their status and report on the storm. (Ready.gov also used Twitter.)
- Utterz – Knowing I’d have limited internet access I broadcast messages to Utterz via my cellphone.
- Ning – This easy-to-use social network platform was used to share information about Gustav.
- Social bookmarks – The Weather Channel uses social bookmarking with alerts on its site.
- RSS feeds – TWC also uses RSS feeds for updates. (So does Accuweather, FEMA and the NWS.)
- Blogs – All the major weather sites – Weather.com, Accuweather and Wunderground – have blogs.
Louisiana emergency preparedness sites still stuck on
stupid Web 1.0
I was disappointed to see that none of Louisiana’s emergency sites
offered any type of social media tools. Not one! These include Gov. Jindal’s office, the state’s emergency site, Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, GetaGamePlan.org, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Recovery Authority, Louisiana.gov, or the American Red Cross, Baton Rouge chapter.
There’s no excuse for this in my opinion, not when so many options abound. I mean, heavens, add RSS feeds at least. The Get a Game Plan site should absolutely offer these. It’s not like Gov. Jindal doesn’t know about social media tools either as he used a number of them during his campaign.
With hurricane season still heavy upon us, unfortunately there will
other opportunities for social media technologies to be utilized for
emergency response, news and status updates. I’m glad they exist, for
that reason and many others.