In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Twitter To The Rescue

July 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Earlier this year, James Karl Buck, a graduate student arrested in Egypt while documenting local riots, sent out a one word Twitter message — “Arrested” — just before he was taken in custody by Egyptian police. As a result of the message, members of Buck’s Twitter network were able to get the word out, mobilize and then create enough outside [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0 · Preparedness Tips

Visit To Red Cross’s D.C. Disaster Operations Center Highlights New New Media Initiative

June 21st, 2008 · 6 Comments

While I was in Washington, D.C. Thursday, I visited the American Red Cross‘ Disaster Response Center to learn more about the growing role of new media in the Red Cross’s response efforts during the Midwestern floods and tornadoes.
Wendy Harman and Claire Johnson of the Red Cross’ Social Media unit — which coordinates the organization’s online public affairs initiatives — kindly took a moment from their busy [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0 · Red Cross

Maryland Emergency Breakdown Underscores Importance of Email Alerts To Citizen Disaster Response (As Well As Role of Human Factor In Preparedness 2.0)

June 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Reader Jonathan Haber was kind enough to send me an article in yesterday’s Washington Post about how Montgomery County, Maryland’s e-mail alert system didn’t notify thousands of people after a major water main break, because the two employees who know how to operate the system were out of town. According to the Post:
When those two employees couldn’t be reached, a third employee [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0

‘Fun’ Web Earthquake Preparedness Quiz For Whole Family

June 8th, 2008 · 2 Comments

A fellow CERT member just sent me this interactive web quiz on earthquake preparedness. It doesn’t take long (only 10 questions) and is easy to use for all ages. Go to:
In all candor, your preparedness expert got only 6 out of 10 answers correct — earthquakes are not my strength — so I definitely learned something from [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0 · Uncategorized

Ordering DHS, FEMA, & TSA ‘A La Carte’ — New Email Lists That Are Worth Signing Up For

June 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I know you all already get too much email (including, for some of you, the weekly summary of this blog). And the idea of getting any more, particularly from the Department of Homeland Security, may not sound on first blush very enticing
However, if you are interested in citizen preparedness — or for that matter any aspect of homeland security – I suggest you go to [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0

A Good Citizen Preparedness Tip About Cellphones I Learned After Yesterday’s Crane Collapse

May 31st, 2008 · 6 Comments

Soon after the tragic crane collapse on the Upper East Side, my CERT team was deployed by the City’s Office of Emergency Management to help in the response.

A photo I took yesterday of local residents looking at the aftermath of a crane collapse that had killed two people earlier in the day.
We helped the Red Cross set up and staff [...]

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Tags: CERT · Preparedness Tips

Washington Post “Outlook” Section Article

May 18th, 2008 · 5 Comments

I have a piece on citizen preparedness in today’s Washington Post “Outlook” section. It can be found through this link
If you are arriving at the blog on for the first time as a result of the article, welcome. I hope you stick around.
I would love to hear any comments, criticisms, or questions about the story or anything regarding citizen emergency preparedness.
Below [...]

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Tags: Media

Text Messaging After Chinese Earthquake Is A Lesson For Us All

May 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

NPR’s Melissa Block had an interesting story about how many Chinese throughout the country communicated with each other directly after the earthquake using text messaging:
The first word about the massive earthquake in China did not come from the news media. In China, some 600 million people have cell phones, and when the quake hit, many reached for them — but not [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0

Preparedness & Response 2.0 After Chinese Earthquake, Burmese Cyclone

May 14th, 2008 · No Comments

The aftermath of both major Asian natural disasters – the earthquake in China and the Burmese cyclone — has displayed the web’s ability to be an source and aggregator of multi-media information in the wake of disaster situations.
This phenomenon is being well covered by Global Voices, a non-profit citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
This post combines post-earthquake video mashups [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0

Stephenson Strategies Blog

April 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

As I build my blog, I will be adding other blogs and websites that I believe can be helpful to people as they prepare and inform themselves.  
The first blog I’m highlighting is It is written by Boston-area consultant David Stephenson. One of his major focuses is technology and homeland security which he has dubbed Homeland Security 2.0.
I find David’s blog really fascinating, [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0