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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

FEMA Regional Offices Now On Twitter; County Using Electronic Billboards To Push Multiple Preparedness Messages To Driving Public

July 7th, 2009 · 1 Comment

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has 10 regional offices (see map here for how they are divided). Each of them now has their own Twitter feed. You can go to the Homeland Security Department’s social media page here  to sign up. These have just started up, and they vary by office as far as frequency of use thus far. However, I think these feeds will be useful, particularly the one that covers your area.

On the subject of FEMA Twitter feeds, the agency’s FEMAinFocus recently tweeted about a Government Technology article about about how the Office of Emergency Management in Jefferson County, Texas is using electronic billboards to offer multiple preparedness messages to its citizens.

“We live in an advancing technology society, and we thought we had to go the extra step to get people’s attention,” said Greg Fountain, emergency management coordinator of the OEM. “They get tired of just listening to you on the radio or the news. Print materials are just something that people are handed and throw away, or they rarely pick up a brochure like you would hope.”

Fountain said Lamar Advertising has three electronic billboards in the county and the OEM purchased time on each of them. He said the company sells six ads for each billboard, and each message appears for 10 seconds of every minute. One of the billboards is located at the intersection of Highway 347 and Highway 69 — a location that nearly all of the county’s more than 250,000 residents drive through, he said.

The billboards offer high exposure, the ability to promote multiple messages and the opportunity to change information quickly in the event of an emergency. It’s a creative public education idea.

An example of a message displayed on a digital billboard in Jefferson County, Texas.

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Tags: County Preparedness · Federal Emergency Management Administration · Preparedness Ideas

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Rick // Sep 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    There could be problems if goverment agencies start using Twitter then have to back out and redign there Emergency Response System.

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