Hurricane Gustav meets Web 2.0; Louisiana needs social media game plan 4


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.

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
likely be
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.


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4 thoughts on “Hurricane Gustav meets Web 2.0; Louisiana needs social media game plan

  • Glenn in Naples

    Hi Paul,
    Saw your twit on this post. Living in Florida we face the same issues with a hurricane (watching Hurricane Ike at this time) as does the Gulf Coast states.
    Will have to get the FEMA widget and add it to my blogs for clients outside the are that are concerned about their residences here.

  • Thorsten Claus

    I'm not so sure if any of these widgets + servers + services are efficient enough to provide a communication means that will not harm emergency communications during a disaster on a scale like Katrina or Gustav. If this is offered "officially", you better make sure it works, otherwise friends + family will worry more than it actually helps.
    One would have to make sure that all the precious air-time of mobile communications as well as other Internet communications still give enough bandwidth to emergency workers and response teams.
    And when I'm saying "I'm not sure" that's what it means: I'm not sure :) It might be a good idea, but I've seen many good ideas failing on "simple" assumptions on bandwidth availability and network resilience…

  • Paul Chaney

    Thorsten, your point is well-make. I realize that, while apps like Twitter are iffy, technologies such as RSS are pretty much stock-standard. I think it is certainly worth Louisiana's while to consider which of these tools to deploy.

  • Zane Safrit

    Hurricanes and Social Media

    The recent hurricane, Gustav, once again showed the as yet, untapped, potential for social media's role in holding a community together, one thread at a time, one conversation at a time. I stayed current with friends in the gulf region