Case Study: How NOAA and Local Agencies Engaged Citizens During Sandy


Hello, everyone. This is Justin Herman with
the GSA office of citizen services and innovative technologies. Thank you for joining us today.
We hope this will be a very informative webinar during the team at NOAA and a tool that you
may know. As many of you know across the government, beginning when the president asked the people
to look to government and social media to find the information they need, there was
an incredible response of integration between agencies. You saw it from B, NOAA, and USA.gov.
Different agencies working together to get people critical life-saving information they
needed. We have been lucky today because two of the teams currently working deeply in this
issue right now still work able to give us some of their time to share what they are
doing and how they approached. And some takeaways that we could apply for next time. This will not be the final webinar or training
or class that we do with case studies with super storm Sandy, but this is the first.
We hope you have some questions prepared and that you will enjoy this. It’s getting to
the presenters. First, David Miller and Jjenn Conti from NOAA
They did and paste book their way through many storms and they survived shark week.
They both guide some pertinent information. Then, we have been Berkowitz, the cofounder
of C click fix. He has an online tool that allows citizens to go to a website and report
non-emergency issues to government — things like downed power lines and potholes. As you
can imagine, when a disaster like Sandy happens when things are happening on the local level,
this citizen engagement is something that can bolster agencies. From this you can see
that he was named technology game changers. And one of the top 25 innovators for 2011.
We are glad to have him here today. With that, I will pass this over to the NOAA
team to get things started. Sounds great. Thank you, Justin. Very good. I appreciate everyone joining us today. There
are a couple of things we want to pass along. Social media, of course, at NOAA has grown
in importance and has become a significant part of our overall communication strategy.
In fact, in 2012 this was the year that social media proved its value to our leadership.
The team as a whole and most importantly the audience. To give you some background, Gen and I are
responsible for the content on six social media outlets. We are on the NOAA Facebook
page and we operate one for the administrator. We also handle 2 twitter account. The main
one is for the agency as a whole and we also have one that is geared toward media. Especially
broadcast meteorologists. We also have an active Flickr and YouTube account. Thanks to a much more aggressive approach
to the management, what you have seen a significant growth in the audience this year. Facebook
went from 35,000 likes at the beginning of the year and we just surpassed hundred and
7000 this week. NOAA twitter went from 60,000 to over 117,000 just this week alone. And
the NOAA twitter account which is the media audience started at around 5000 followers
and is now at over 16,000. It is going well. Why are we seeing these increases? We have
a Facebook comment from our NOAA administrator, [indiscernible]. This sums up our marching
orders. She says that my social media team is working hard every day to bring you the
most visually compelling and relevant stories across the organization. They strive to provide
you with science news that you can use. That is what we’re here to talk about this afternoon. We have a good understanding of what will
resonate with our audience and we do solid planning and coordination to get valuable
information when audience needed. We will walk you through our experience with
NOAA social media during one of the most extreme events we have seen in a long time. Of course
this was a hurricane Sandy Gen I will now turn it over to you. Hello. I am just going to send the screen
to Dave so he can scroll through some of the samples of some of the tweets and posts we
put up. I am going to break this out a little bit into a quick timeline. We started communicating
through social media about the storm before it hit — between 25 October and the 28th.
We started on the 25th, four full days before landfall. We were piecing a close watch on
the national weather service and national weather service hurricane Center. The products
that they were disseminating. I want to say before we get into this — we
couldn’t do anything from headquarters without the content and — from our line office area.
We have social media people that we are coordinator worth — with in our line office is that we
work closely with. We rely on them for the most latebreaking authoritative information
especially during a crisis or impending disaster as I would classify this storm. So, I need
to thank my colleagues. Specifically the people at the national weather service and national
hurricane Center and national Ocean service. We post a lot of content from the pages in
the early days — the 25th through the 28th including preparedness messaging, satellite
images of the approaching storm — we have a satellite division that manages the environmental
satellites. We sent out projected flood predictions. And rainfall. We were waiting for FEMA as appropriate and
many from Craig [last name indiscernible] himself. Dave was sitting in on emergency status calls
and were also monitoring joint B and NOAA teleconferences — 3 and NOAA teleconferences. We had he cheat sheet ahead of time
that we would use among the three of us — we
also developed a one-stop webpage for Sandy where people could access some of the most
popular links. Links to the latest advisories and satellite images. Essentially the motto is stick to the facts
and to Nomar. We are the communications team and we are headquarters level. And we have
a good idea of where we are at with our own audience, but we are not meteorologists. So,
we work on the premise and we are relying on our colleagues for the most accurate information
and in many times we are working with them to clarify the information. We work hard and
it is still a challenge for us. We work hard to bring the language to be as plain as possible.
We updated the Facebook cover photo a couple of times a day with the most recent satellite
images. On Facebook — it is automatically generated to provide a link for the latest
advisories and storm prediction graphics such as projected rainfall which was a popular
graphic and also peak wind forecast for the East Coast. I don’t mean to interrupt — I know you were
having technical problems with Facebook, so I put on the screen from my page — the NOAA
Facebook page. Just so you know — we can scroll through
this. Great.>>As I was saying, we made sure that
we distributed the one-stop Sandy page. This event page was prominently linked on the NOAA
homepage and it included a basic list of NOAA Sandy assess which was popular. We attempted
to give the audience in the early days an idea of the breadth of the hurricane efforts.
Everyone was aware of our national weather service operations, but we were also pushing
messaging about the NOAA satellite and the hurricane hunters in the air and monitoring
the storm and navigation response teams that are managed through the national Ocean service. Through landfall — the 28th and 29th — we
were conducting teleconferences with the weather service social media lead a few times a day
to check in on developments to make sure we were all on the same page. And that we knew
of any updated weather service products that would be useful to the large and often non-meteorological
community that we serve at NOAA. During the height of the event, and I am not sure that
you were following, but we distributed latebreaking information from the hurricane center and
weather service and they had all of the storm related advisories and it was around the clock. As it approached land, the national hurricane
Center with issuing advisories at 8 AM, 11 AM, and throughout the day. We were treating
and posting advisories essentially by taking a shift. As I said, it was just me and Dave.
We were at the helm at NOAA at the twitter and Facebook pages. We did some shiftwork.
What was unique about Sandy is that it was not a landfall event. I hope you heard that
in the media coverage. The severe impact is being felt well beyond the area of landfall.
There, we led a sustained effort before, during, and after the landfall because of the size
and scope of the storm. We didn’t want people to think — it hasn’t made landfall near me
so I don’t need to heed any warnings or be prepared for my own family to get out of harms
way. That was important and something that I hope everyone heard throughout the media
coverage. We also felt especially on the 28th and 29th as things got more serious, that
it was essential not to get ahead — get out ahead of the weather service or hurricane
Center colleagues regardless of what the media outlet was reporting. I saw people going out
with information that technically was published on the web, but not necessarily out on social
media needs. So, we chose to wait until our colleagues have put that out. Just in case
there were some issues on their and. That sometimes met that the media was breaking
our own storm development — that is what they are supposed to do, essentially. Matters
of public safety and the public record — we always err on the side of caution. I can’t
underscore this enough. We treated advisories about the status of
the storm. Sometimes a lot of the advisories tweeted from the hurricane center account,
depending on the staffing resources at the time, many times we were working to add helpful
context when they issued their advisories. A lot of times they will do this and say that
they have it issued the advisory — and we had to sometimes make a call and put in helpful
context — was is still a hurricane? Tropic cyclone? Is it was still dangerous regardless
— this was important to add. Whenever possible, we issued links to the audio podcast. We found
that this was very popular through Irene and Isaac. People were interested in hearing the
words directly from the forecasters at the hurricane center. So, the audio — One thing I would like to add — first with
Irene and then with Sandy — people were relying on twitter and smart phones to get information
because they did not have power at their homes. So, we were out there giving frontline information
which was very valuable.>>I want to add — when you look at the Facebook feed, especially,
it is easy to be posting the same images a lot. The same type of images. Obviously, they
were changing fairly rapidly. We did our best to mix up some of the weather service and
hurricane Center graphics to keep the followers from getting Facebook fatigue and to keep
them alert to any new developments. This might mean a different version of the satellites
image to get people to pay attention to some of the changes that were going on. We also had a post at the top of the face
book page — this was about — at any time people could find the website where they can
get localized Sandy forecast. If you type in your zip code, you could get
the latest forecast and warnings and watches for your particular area in relationship to
the storm. So, that was important for us to do. Like I said, during the same time, October
28 and 29th through landfall we were supporting FEMA and Red Cross. We are a part of the federal family. While
it is particularly the mandate of FEMA to get out the information, we have some of this
as well and we understand that people are craving as much information as they can during
a storm of this type. Especially from their smart phones. We want to be able to get the
word out to as many people as possible. We wanted to help with that effort. After Sandy, October 30 to the present, and
what I mean is the recovery and response phase — the day after landfall, we immediately
turned our attention to pushing out updates on the NOAA service
activity — NOS is charged with nothing a response in combination with the Coast Guard.
We helped to redistribute tweet images and Ocean service blog post on the navigational
survey activity that the NOAA ships were doing. They were tasked by the Coast Guard in Virginia
and New York and New Jersey. The Ocean service had the lead on issuing this information and
we worked in a coordinated effort to disseminate this information. On twitter and Facebook. Once the NOAA survey sites — these are conducted
to assess Sandy damaged by air. We started to push out a link to the hurricane Sandy
image viewer that is created and maintained by the national data survey. We also started
to push out before and after issues. Some were created using some of the imagery from
this viewer and we created them in the public affairs shop using Google and the imagery
from the viewer. That imagery — people were craving this. Obviously, there are a lot of
people that had to leave their homes. They had no idea of the status of their neighborhood
or community, particularly if they lived along the coast. I can’t emphasize enough how that
was perfect for Facebook. We worked with our colleagues at NOS or the Ocean service to
create a gallery of some of the selected imagery that we feature on social media and the web.
The response we got back was really great. People were grateful that we were able to
put up imagery as it came in. This was so they could check on their homes and neighbors
homes. It surprised us, actually, some of the outpouring
that we received. We also had several high-profile media outlets that were tweeting about our
imagery including the New York governor and various authorities and townships in the hardest
hit regions. We captured several comments from the public
who reinvigorated how our coverage helped them see their own property. I will say — thinking
about your own leadership at your agencies, early on we knew we were going to be asked
for a report about our activities — social media activities and some of the reach we
could get with the information to the public. Early on we started to collect stream captures
of trees and comments from the followers. I think it is important — your leadership
needs to see a positive impact from social media. That you are having on the public.
For many of your agencies, and certainly for our social media, it is a relatively new way
of communicating. And the positive feedback, particularly from the public is important
if you can get it and show it to them in some sort of an after situation report. Again,
we made sure that the image viewing in the gallery were accessible through the NOAA homepage
and we also made sure that the links were available on the Sandy resource page as well. On November 6, about a full week after the
landfall, we posted a satellite animation created by the satellite branch that compared
the hurricane center’s forecast and how it stacked up against the actual storm path.
That was important. We waited a little bit to put that out. It was compelling. The work we have been able to — the hurricane
center was able to do. Making sure that the forecast was as accurate as possible. That
is how we ended some of our Sandy social media communications. Dave, if you have anything to add, I wanted
to and with lessons learned and lessons worth learning. [indiscernible – multiple speakers] Let’s
do that. Justin, please put it over to me so I can
go back to the PowerPoint. One thing I did want to comment on — when
we were showing the social media screen for twitter, is how impressive you were able to
see and integrate information from all different agencies and the Red Cross. It looked like
every post that you had was shared from a different agency, yet it all worked together
in one meaningful way for the public. I think that was fantastic. Thank you. That was our goal. It works well. [indiscernible – multiple speakers] If only
we could make that happen on this call. [laughter] One of the most useful tools that we had was
the ability to access via tweet deck where we had the ability to see the various posts
coming up. It did look as though we were sharing.>>One of our goals in the coming year is
to get more sophisticated software to help us do some of this. We have serious funding
issues. I’m sure many of you do. We have been existing on a shoestring. Using whatever free
resources we can get. That said, when I was thinking about this presentation, I said to
Dave — if it were me, I would want to know some basic things to think about depending
on your level of social media acumen. We are not on the cutting edge by any standard. I
think we do a very good job at using a view basic tools. Like I said, it is just me and
Dave from a headquarters perspective in addition to other duties we have. So, we try to keep
it simple. This is just some of the things we came up with. There are many people on the call they could
give us tips and strategies. We are always open to hearing about that. Here’s what we came up with given our experience
so far. First, stick to the messages and only the
confirmed information from your subject manner experts. We can’t emphasize this enough. It
is important also to make sure that you use plain language. Again, a challenge for a lot
of science organizations. Also, to re-tweet with context. Sometimes
we too had to add some of the information we got from the line offices. We have a larger
— in some cases — and more diverse and public audience than some of the social media that
our line offices are catering to. The social media audience. We had to make some judgment
calls and as I said we had to tweak things a little bit. You have to think about that
when you are repurposing material. Use a universal hash tag for twitter. We knew
that Sandy was going to change from a cyclone to a hurricane to a post-tropical storm. We
used hash tag Sandy and it seemed to work. Provide your followers
with official accounts that they need to know about the most in your agency. For instance, we treated the official list
of national weather service accounts because once Sandy made landfall, forecast watches
and warnings became the responsibility of local weather forecast offices in the region
and we had a list of those official account that we were pushing out so that people would
follow locally. I would say to make sure that you publicize
your event critical mobile/smartphones friendly websites. People are probably not having the
electricity and power to use their computers, but they are looking for updates on their
mobile phones. This is something that we heard earing several of the different storms and
tornadoes when we have been tweeting. You have to remember that it’s are saving lives
in many instances. It is important to get as much out that we have available for the
— I want to say you should make sure that you have your mobile website and content ready
for any type of event. Also, don’t assume that your intra-agency
social media colleagues are on the same page. We have known early on that we needed to communicate
early and often about expectations from headquarters and the direction of the flow of information
is important. This is not a time for people to go broke with their own social media campaigns
and creativity. Consider expanding your communications to
support that it public safety and emergency response content. Things from qualified outlets
like FEMA and Red Cross. People are looking to all of us in the federal
family to stay safe. They don’t pay attention with who is mandated for this. We try to think
across the family like that. No gratuitous tweets or posts. Don’t clog
it up with frivolous content especially at the height of an event. This was a vital take away from hurricane
Irene. We received numerous messages for thanking us for pushing out clear and vital information.
People are relying on their smart phones as their only source of information during power
outages. Be as clear as possible in your tweets. Use
dates and time zone information when possible. Don’t use abbreviations that only your agency
will recognize. We are trying to do better at that. Keep your tweet as short as possible.
And well within the 140 characters to facilitate re-tweeting. Like in advertising, repetition is key. Don’t
assume that everyone saw the tweet that you sent two hours ago. For critical information,
instructions and safety information, I would present it and presented again depending on
how critical the nature is. It is important because we are a diverse organization.
We have several areas and several program areas. To speak with one voice is impossible.
The national weather service, Hurricane Center, Storm Prediction Center — these are all NOAA.
We are all in the same family. We want to make it easy for people. Also, one thing to think about — when possible,
take a look at your Facebook page to make sure that people are not spreading rumors
or confusing the situation in their comments. Be on the lookout for posts directing readers
to off topic private sites and try to answer the big bushes that come up as quickly as
possible. Clear up any misinformation in the comment feed that you can. Also, remember that every post is a new opportunity
to reiterate essential web links and critical information and resources. Direct engagement — with your followers during
an event like this, this is a matter of resources. Again, how many people can respond and how
many of your subject matter experts are available to clarify information. We just tried to do
our best with the time and staffing that we had. Last, things — show compassion. Remember,
the people that were reviewing our before and after photos of this terrible devastation
along the East Coast — especially, in some cases we could zoom closely into areas where
houses were completely destroyed or neighborhoods raised. You need to remember that these people that
may be looking at your content are the victims. You want to let them know that you are thinking
of them during a difficult time. It is important to acknowledge the suffering, especially when
you are posting graphic imagery. That is something that we did. Also, don’t take a victory lap to soon. If
your agency did a great job and you want to thank people for a job well done, even people
within your own organization, wait at least a week after an event to to your horns. If
you have any doubts, wait another week. This is important. We want to thank people and
acknowledge that we were on target with the forecast. If that was the case. In fact, that
was the case. You have to be careful about doing that kind of thing too soon or at all.
It is really a judgment call. Now we will wrap this up. We want to make sure that we have time for
the questions coming in. I have to be the first one to say — especially the last 10
min. I am looking into the crystal ball and I see in the future a guest blog post to share
this information. This has been incredibly fantastic. We have some questions piling up.
Like you said, we want to make sure that we can get over to ban. Ben Berkowitz From SeeClickFix. I will now send the controls to him. Thank you for having me. Let me start my presentation.
>>First, I am super excited to be invited into this conversation with NOAA. Such a powerful
organization. It is generally a testament to Chie as a and know what and the White House
that these guys have been so inclusive of the private sector. During disasters and during
day to day civic life. When we started SeeClickFix five years ago, we were interested in creating
a tool that helped distribute some of the burden of governance. Partially from a reporting
perspective — so citizens using the web to document the most basic infrastructure improvement
like they need to fix a pothole or improve a public space or at a dog park or a public
mural — but, we didn’t see ourselves as citizens or neighbors, just people that were there
to be sourced and to search for information. We also saw an opportunity to use the web
to include citizens in the process of actually resolving some of these issues. We build a platform where a citizen could
report an issue and based on where it was located, government and others accountable
for the public space would receive this. Because we distributed the platform and said the responsibility
— we didn’t make the assumption that the responsibility of the person fixing which
is the government. We ended up getting a lot of unique partners involved. The reason I’m talking here is that this same
strategy and platform ended up working successfully during this past storm. We have had experience
working with users and making use of the platform during previous storms such as the various
snowstorms and hurricane Irene, but nothing had the same capacity as Sandy. I would like
to share a little bit about Sandy with you guys and talk about some of the great ideas
that came up in the cleanup of Sandy that I think we could take action on with various
partners that we may not have thought about as partners prior. Partners that we did think of — obviously,
the local, junta, and state government and federal government. FEMA came in and some
of our towns. NGO — local business improvement groups or neighborhood organizations. Utility
organizations. Private businesses. Citizens and local and national media were working
to help expose the content being created on the platform. As well as helping to crowd
source some of the content by putting the reporting tools in front of the general public. For many governments up and down the East
Coast, they have access to a dashboard for tracking these kind of nonemergency issues
— the things that were going to the 311 systems. They can access that on the web and use this
to manage and track their data. So, in Washington DC during the storm you would have seen their
dashboard and data shift heavily from parking meter requests to downed trees. We saw this
up and down the East Coast. The nonemergency reporting system — the tools are the same
for everyone using them, but the content coming through the channel shifted. The same goes for the media partners. We have
widgets embedded on thousands of local news sites and many of them are in the Northeast.
We wound that this is a really helpful partner for governments and citizens because it is
a tough job to get out the word that there are channels for communicating with each other
and with local governments. The media has an interest in helping to tell
that story. So, you have a nice open data synergy created with open data and the open
platform between government and media which sometimes we don’t see enough of in between
government and media. Sometimes we are working against each other. This is been a nice thing.
In the case of Sandy, we spot a number of extra servers on Sunday night prior to the
store because we knew we would bring on some bigger media partners like the Huffington
Post and NBC broadcast stations that we did not have on the platform previously. All in
all, they ended up helping to get the content and we saw about seven times the number of
reports through these widgets during the storm and storm cleanup then prior reporting times. One of the most exciting things that happened
during Sandy aside from the government and media stepping up and using the open data
platform to communicate with citizens, we saw citizens asking for assistance with other
citizens that we saw citizens offering assistance to other citizens. I think through the eyes
of citizens in Crisfield, Maryland, we said — anybody can get alerts, but we have a for
the people pay for and we took down the pay walls on all services related to the storm.
One that took advantage of a small town in Maryland. In the first couple of days they
reported things like debris removal. The normal things that people report. But, they had 80
volunteers that were helping. The city didn’t know how to utilize them. They thought — if
we asked them to go with their smart phones and
document the damage land scape so they could
start to assess where they could help, that would be valuable. So, they started to go
out and hundreds of issues got reported. FEMA showed up and they said that’s great that
you are using the smart phone okay application to get photos and GPS locations of these problems
and you are using it to help each other. Can’t you also use it to document the white flag
homes — meaning homes where people were in need of food and shelter. We had not thought of using the application
that way prior, but that volunteers started to do that. By all accounts this was very
helpful. You could start to get a picture on the ground from the volunteers back to
people in the office that FEMA about where some of the zones were that put physical white
towels on their front door saying that they needed assistance. All in all, I will say that the server stayed
up the entire time. We have an accurate data picture of what the reports look like. You
are watching a video in the background of some of the service requests as they came
in. The green is the fallen trees. The orange is downed power and the blue is flooding.
Right now, we are into about Tuesday evening and you can start to see that the data really
picks up. Less reporting during the storm from our end, at least. Much more reporting
post-storm and a ton of it was coming through the media partners, but even more was actually
come into the mobile applications. This speaks to the power of the growing smart phone industry
and the connectivity even when the power is out. The device that we provide does allow
for asynchronous reporting means meaning that both can document issues even if they do not
have cell service and track them in their device and on their mobile device and upload
this to the web when they are back in service. This was very valuable as well. We have enabled governments and citizens and
media to connect with each other around these problems as they happen in real time and a
granularity that can be very informative and can get problems solved quickly. More importantly,
this helped to triage what was really serious. Does the power company really need to come
look at the lamb that is threatening to bring down the power lines? — The limb threatening
to bring down the power lines? Maybe we can focus our resources over here. There is a
lot of that. What was interesting this time is, as many
of you know, there was a hurricane hacker organization that popped up at MIT and they
were documenting all of the tax and journalistic efforts that were going on around trying to
document and provide assistance. Technical and communication assistance. We communicated
— we participated in that. The same thing happened in New York. We got a flood of calls
from friends asking if SeeClickFix could be used in all sorts of different ways. People
were asking for it to be used to help track missing people or to help doctors track patients
being shifted to hospitals. If it could be used to request housing assistance and ride
share. A number of other things. On election day, we ended up jumping on the phone with
a number of platforms in the private sector and the director of HUG — hide — HU HUND
about this. How this could tie together so that you could
use the mobile device to request assistance with housing just the way you would use our
device to request assistance on getting a pothole filled from the government. I think
this is an interesting conversation to have. We are furthering it this with the organizations
that with the White House. Because for us it has been a little bit lonely being a private
company focused exclusively on government. What was nice to see during the storm is that
it felt like every start up in New York was looking for a way to provide assistance. I
think there are a number of companies that can provide assistance if people realize they
can use it that way. I think it is our job to help guide folks in using those platforms
effectively in a constructive way on an open data platform where government and media alike
have eyeballs and are present in the conversation. Thank you very much. This impressed upon me
from — beginning with the NOAA presentation and going to yours. Like you said, there are
agencies working together at the federal level. Then there are agencies working between federal,
state, local together on this. Then, of course, you have the developer community, whether
it is a hurricane hacker or SeeClickFix. You can literally tie from a federal agency providing
their purpose — services to the public right down to people tying white flag to the front
door. You have the tools and the communities built. These are partnerships that can provide
critical circuit this is — services to citizens. We have some questions that I want to make
sure that we get to. I will help out this process by answering the first question — somebody
asks — I am looking over here it says did you push out information in other languages?
That is something that I will be able to show you. One of the things that we did at the
GSA office of Citizen services and innovative technologies — USA.gov became a pivot for
the information being shared between different agencies online. You can see here, I believe,
on my screen — USA.gov. This is the Spanish language site. It provides the content for
USA.gov. They have an entire section on Sandy that for Spanish language features — speakers
give them this information. If you happen to have the time to check out USA.gov, I would
suggest that you do this. It is a great way to have an overview of all the different services
that are there. We can go to the next question now. I am having
difficulty seeing this. One moment. [indiscernible] asks — did you change your
online forms — voice to show more compassion? Actually, no. We didn’t. We were always cognizant
of if you sure that we would note that actual information and information that was that
it
that did vetted that was. I don’t think we made any specific change to our tone. Gen
As mentioned, this is something that we work cognizant of especially when we got into the
recovery portion. To have anything to out on that? I would agree. I was referring to — specifically,
what we posted imagery, we would say that this is a picture of [indiscernible], New
Jersey. Sometimes I would put him — we are thinking
of those people. These people were affected by such a devastating storm. I would insert
something like that into some of the posts. Still keeping it factual and authoritative.
But acknowledging that we were thinking of people. Excellent. Angie is asking — this is probably directed
towards NOAA — how did you handle the coordination on the regional level?
Obviously, with headquarters communications — you showed us the account you were responsible
for. You were reached pretreating other things. You have a methodology that you used to reach
out on the regional level? That was one thing we had in our favor with
the national weather service. Every local weather forecast office has its own twitter
account. They have — they do a good job of promoting
that and people that are living in those areas are taking full advantage of it. In many instances,
they were taking information that we were pushing out — the hurricane center was pushing
out — they were adding the local flavor to it and pushing it out to their specific audience. National Weather Service. You brought up a lot of different services
in a way that the developer community can help government bridge the gap between the
direct services and citizens that need the most. Where would you recommend an agency
could start if it wanted to look into some of the communities around that? Absolutely. Particularly, I think that we
would like to really connect on a deeper level and have a real plan going forward with FEMA
before the next event. I would agree — the same thing with the Red Cross. As we grow,
we want to make sure that we are helping in any way we can. If we are not helping, we
can step aside during those events. That is something important for us. I do think that
[indiscernible] — they have taken the slice of craigslist that allows you to list your
apartment online. This is critically valuable when people are in need of shelter. Especially
at the service is willing to give their service away for free and they are encouraging other
users to give their homes away. I think these things are critical. I don’t
think I am biased when I say that SeeClickFix is one of them. This is because of the strategic
platform. We are clearly not even close to as big as Twitter or Facebook, but we do allow
for very granular detailed reporting and the way that the request is set up they can be
looked into a lot of the existing services. Yes, and to add to that, it is one of the
reasons that when we share best practices and we encourage them, one of the things is
that we encourage agencies to not wait until it is necessary to have a community, and that
is why we start to build them early and build the connections and relationships, whether
it is to citizen engagement or communities of practice or all the different communities
that we built to have those in place before the disaster happens so that when you need
it you are not building it and you are ready have these organisms in place. Is approaching the hour now. I wanted to thank
the NOAA team for joining us today and also SeeClickFix for sharing with us some of the
developer community and what is available out there. I want everyone to know that we
will be sending out a survey shortly to get feedback on the webinar. This is so we know
what we can approve next time and when we are developing more Sandy specific stuff or
social media or training in general. Again, if you have questions or comments or ideas,
go to twitter and follow the social of hash tag. — Social Gov Hash tag. We will let you know when this is available
to share with your colleagues. Thank you. Have a great day. [Event concluded]

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