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Crowdsourcing Disasters and Social Engagement Multiplied


Crowdsourcing disasters. New social media sites. Centralized places to get info. Our digital team at FEMA has been busy launching a number of new tools to help the public and our partners to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Here’s a quick rundown of the new resources:

  1. FEMA App with the Disaster Reporter feature
  2. FEMA’s Social Hub
  3. FEMA LinkedIn
  4. U.S. Fire Administration Facebook

How does this help you be a part of the emergency management team? Watch this demo from Administrator Fugate as he walks through all the new tools and resources you can take advantage of:

Before a disaster, you can download the FEMA App and use the interactive emergency kit checklist and learn what to do during specific hazards. And if you find yourself in a situation, where you need a refresher, you can still pull up the safety info in the app, even if you don’t have a cellular or wifi connection.

After a disaster, if you’re not placing yourself in harm’s way, you can use the Disaster Reporter feature in the FEMA App and take a photo of the disaster area and upload it to us (just make sure the GPS function is turned on).  This includes all types of disasters, not just Federal disasters.

We’ll review the photo submissions to ensure: (1) it is disaster-related, (2) not spam, and (3) there are no privacy issues.  And then all approved content is posted on a public map. It’s pretty simple.

We’re really excited about this new feature, because it gives all stakeholders in a disaster area the ability to upload information to a centralized place, allowing all emergency managers to view the information.  Since we’re using the FEMA GeoPlatform for our mapping interface the content can be shared on other maps and sites, using what techies refer to as an API (Application Programming Interface).

Speaking of centralized places to view information, the Social Hub is where all stakeholders can go to view tweets from trusted emergency managers.  The great thing about the Social Hub is we can change the information we’re displaying on the fly.  When we launched the Social Hub on Monday, July 29, we were displaying tweets from accounts in Hawaii, because we were monitoring Tropical Storm Flossie. 

When the storm dissipated, we transitioned to displaying local National Weather Service tweets, both in a scrolling format and on a map.  As we know, more and more people are going mobile with their devices (phones and tablets), so we also created a Social Hub on our mobile site.

Finally, we recently launched two new channels to better engage FEMA’s digital audience: the FEMA LinkedIn page and the U.S. Fire Administration Facebook page.  On LinkedIn, look for job listings, stories about what a “day in the life” looks like at FEMA, and other training resources.  And if you “Like” the U.S. Fire Administration Facebook page, you’ll receive lots of stories, resources, and tips for assisting fire departments or firefighters.

When I testified on Capitol Hill on Social Media and Emergency Management last month, I said that we’re always looking at how we can expand our existing digital and social products. As you can imagine, we’re excited about these new tools and we’re looking forward to feedback.

Kick the tires as they say and let us know what you think.

Last Updated: 
06/02/2017 - 09:21


FEMA is evil they plan to lock us up in concentration camps they have been building them for years. The U.S. govornment is planning an economic colapse and that is the beginning of the end. It will happen soon. DON"T GET ON THE FEMA TRAINS!

True, government is a lie, they say they are out to help us, yea help kill us, ppl have no clue what's in store for them & their families! Once in these camps if you don't do as they say they will put you to death, as for the elderly they will kill off because they are too old to deal with. The end times are now, antichrist is one the rise & the government is right behind him. Beware of the microchip for the right hand or forehead it will lead you right to destruction aka HELL, they say it's a better way of life but Jesus said it will take you straight to HELL. what they say is all a lie.. search your heart now & find Jesus he's the only way the truth & the light to save us!.. he died so u can live.. who will you chose??!!?!?!?!!???