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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

San Francisco’s New “Unbranded” Community Preparedness Initiative “Prep SF” Rocks!

August 28th, 2009 · No Comments

At one of the opening panels of the recent Citizen Corps’ National Conference On Community Preparedness, I heard a terrific presentation on San Francisco’s new preparedness initiative, “Prep SF Because It Rocks!”, given by Rob Dudgeon, the Deputy Director of  the City’s Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM), and Kristin Hogan from the consultancy CirclePoint who helped develop it. (The slides for their presentation, “The Preparedness Movement: How Social Media Supports A Culture of Preparedness,” can be found here.) Afterwards, I shot an interview with them about “Prep SF” and about citizen preparedness in general. The video is at the bottom of the post.

To Dudgeon and Hogan, the public preparedness challenge calls for new content and distribution approaches. That means less top down instructing of citizens and more sharing knowledge among members of the community using social media. An underpinning of the new initiative is that existing official or “branded” citizen preparedness efforts have hit a ceiling. ”We got who we’re going to get,” says Dudgeon.

“Prep SF Because It Rocks!” is being rolled out in stages beginning with an “unbranded” Facebook page which is not web linked with the SFDEM official sites including www.72 This is not viewed by organizers as a one-time “campaign” but instead as an effort to create a “preparedness movement” which will become part of San Franciscans’ everyday lives.

I was particularly impressed with their strategic approach to the issue laid out in the presentation, which began with a thoughtful analysis of other preparedness efforts and academic social science. Though the initiative is very localized to reflect the City of San Francisco, there are many elements in “Prep SF” that are transferable (and localizable) to any area in the U.S. I recommend becoming a Facebook “Fan” of “Prep SF” not only if you are in Bay Area but also if you are interested in creative preparedness/public education efforts.


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Tags: Preparedness 2.0 · Preparedness Ideas · Preparedness Models

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