This morning, the East Coast-based Twitter followers of @CraigatFEMA (aka FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate) got a bit of a provocative challenge:
It was little less cheeky than his reminder tweet from the day before:
Usually, preparedness messaging — particularly as a threat approaches — is Boy Scout earnest (and Fugate uses that approach as well — see below).
But Twitter has allowed the Administrator to also offer some more refreshingly more casual, irreverent messages — that use humor and even a little sarcasm to try to get through to Americans to prepare. The character limits, the volume of Tweets and the targeted nature of social media makes it a good medium for experimentation, particularly when (like Fugate) you have a gregarious, infectious personality with a nice sense of humor — and you have heard of every excuse for not preparing from the public during a long emergency management career. The fact is that the straight forward approach has largely not worked.
Fugate’s Twitter feed should embolden emergency managers to try some more direct and conversational approaches that officials might not feel comfortable saying during a news conference or in a press release.