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Why You Need a Social Media Disaster Plan

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Witch Doctor 01, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Got this from my insurance company interesting read on social media...


    By Jessica Findell, Social Media Community Manager
    Consider this: A Category 1 hurricane is headed your way in the next 48 hours. While no mandatory evacuation has been issued, your local news station has been broadcasting "be prepared" messages every minute, and you are positive that your family is ready to brave the storm. With your checklist in hand you begin to go down the list:
    • Board up all windows and doorways — CHECK!
    • Stock your pantry with a week's worth of canned food and water, flashlight batteries, candles and a first-aid kit — CHECK!
    • Log in to Facebook and Twitter — CHE — Wait ... WHAT?!

    That's right. Believe it or not, social media can be your lifeline the next time a natural disaster strikes.
    Having been involved with USAA's catastrophe communications via social media channels for the past year, I've come to understand how these tools can be used for much more than socializing. They become your aggregate source for up-to-date news and alerts and let you inform friends and family quickly of your whereabouts.
    So before the next hurricane, tornado, flash flood or wildfire threatens your area, take these steps to get your social media disaster plan ready:
    • We are family. Figure out who needs to be included on your list of emergency contacts: immediate family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Once you have the list established, be sure you know each other's Twitter handles and/or are friends on Facebook. If you don't do this, you'll have a more difficult time staying in contact after a catastrophe hits.
    • To tweet, or not to tweet? That is the question. Once you've set up your emergency contact list, deciding which social media channel you and your contacts will use to stay in touch is key. You may be an avid Twitter user, but if the majority of your contacts prefer Facebook you may want to adopt the latter as your primary source of communication and reserve Twitter for news alerts. Of course, don't tweet while driving. Even if you're stuck in traffic while evacuating, let a passenger send the tweet, make the post or send the text message.
    • If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. It's always a good idea to have a backup plan, or two, in place in case your primary or secondary course of action fails. You know the saying, "third time's a charm?" What if Twitter's API (the application programming interface that allows you to communicate) is acting up or your Facebook app isn't loading your private message? You want to make sure you have other methods in place to communicate.
    • Notify me IMMEDIATELY. Whether you have an iPhone®, BlackBerry, Android or feature phone, most smartphones give you the option to set up push notifications or SMS (text) alerts for any new messages or updates in your social media channel of choice. Make sure that you have these options turned on in both the channel browser and your mobile device.
    • Ready, set, CHARGE ... your mobile devices. Kind of a duh, right? But this is something that can all too easily be forgotten. Make sure you keep all of your mobile devices plugged in, so they'll be fully charged if you lose power. You can also buy solar-powered portable mobile charging devices that do not require a three-prong plug. They cost from $30 to $60 each, but they are well worth the investment.

    After you've figured out the most appropriate social media channel for everyone to use, it's time to adopt these best practices:
    • Be my friend. Follow/Friend local government and volunteer agencies as well as news stations. Why? Because they will provide news, warnings and advice specific to your area.
    • Know your hashtags. If you're using Twitter, knowing or establishing a common hashtag is crucial. A hashtag is the pound sign (#) in front of a word or phrase that connects people and allows you to search for alerts by way of Twitter. For example, most recently the Dallas-Fort Worth area saw a huge number of tornadoes. A common hashtag used to connect conversations about the event was #DFWTornadoes.
    • Privacy please. Public conversation is great in social media, but if you're communicating something personal (your location, status of your home, etc.) send a direct message on Twitter or a private message on Facebook. You never know when a potential looter may be lurking in the public spaces of social media.

    Now that you have these steps under your belt, you're well on your way to creating one whizz-bang social media disaster plan. Of course, you can always tweak these guidelines to suit your individual needs. And remember to follow USAA on Facebook and Twitter for additional disaster preparedness tips and updates if you face a catastrophe in your area.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    So...tie up bandwidth that may be needed for emergency operations. Yup, that makes a lot of sense....Jessica may like to twitter, but she is indeed a twit!
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    It wouldn't be a "Bad Idea" to monitor Social Media, just like you monitor the local NOAA Wx Station on VHF... But as far as sending out Tweets, or Facebook Posts, that falls under your Family Rules for OPSEC..... Here, We do NOT post, but rarely, on Facebook. That is used to mainly keep up with the GrandKids. We also do NOT do Twitter, as it just doesn't play well with our Family OPSEC Rules. We keep our Family Business inside the Family... We use Encrypted Skype, for Family Messaging using Family based KeySets, and OnePads, with an occasional Video Chat. ..... YMMV...
  4. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    And what of those of us who refuse to have anything to do with the so-called social media?

    I can see the weather apps are a good tool, as are community based facebook pages where blockages and the like are posted. But the down side, for me anyway, means gicing up some of the last vestiges of privacy left - no thanks.

    For those that do that sort of thing, very good advice, thanks for posting.
    45ACP and Idahoser like this.
  5. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Having at least a small streak of tinfoil in my cap, I could see this as a way for an insurance company to find a basis for denying a claim due to some tenuous evidence of fraud on social media (logging locations, activities, pictures, etc.)
    jollyrodger13 and oldawg like this.
  6. Darkwolf

    Darkwolf Monkey+

    At this point in time, I classify social media as the STD of the internet. Full of viruses, worms, and Trojans.:D
    Tully Mars and BTPost like this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    and Predators, looking for the gullible, and weak minded, of the sheeple, to prey on.... I will just watch, and I really do NOT accept unknown Friend Requests, or Friends of Friends that are not personally Known to me, already.... part of the family OPSEC that my family, practices....
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    If email or phones work, I have all the social media disaster plan I need. I have an early analog storage device. A hard copy address book of all family and friends with phone and emails. Actually I have 3. One for each vehicle and one at home.
  9. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    My favorite social media phenom is 4 square. Who in their right fricken mind would use that service. Broadcast your exact location ?? What are you nutz? Convinced a coworker that it wasn't a good idea when with the information that she was putting out, I called the bar and asked for her.

    Told her if she had a stalker, she'd probably be found in a dumpster one day.

    She was 2 states away.

    I love the internet.
    Dawg23 likes this.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Sheeple, just do not understand the technology, that they are walking around with, and what that technology is distributing, about them, every minute of the day.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    That includes QSL cards, dammit.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yea, well you just have to be selective about who you send them to.... and exactly what is printed on them...
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Your ticket number says it all, and with sending it goes out. That concerns me a bit, takes little talent to listen for it. (Assuming the listener can find you across the bands.) Published data.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    True enough... but there bands are wide, and there are plenty of others to mix in with.... Kid of "Hide in Plain Sight".... or just don't do voice, and use one of the Digital Modes, like PSK31 that usually can't be distinguished from Noise, for you comms.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Packets will work, especially with monkey one use. I'll have to figure out if Tech tickets allow that. (Only two class sessions so far, 6 to go including the test.) Still trying to narrow down the range of selections for a rig.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Techs can use packet on 10 Meters as well as voice..... They are NOT allowed to use anything but CW on lower Bands... Higher Frequencies they have the same basic privileges as Generals and Extras....
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The General Test, isn't that much harder than the Tech Test... You could take both and see if you got lucky.... then if you didn't I have a site that can help you "Bone Up" for the General, in about two weeks of an hour a night.....
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Based on what I see so far for Tech, I'd guess General to be not particularly hard. Code is the first thing I have to really conquer. That can be used on several of the longer wave bands, and is apt to be where I start off. The AARL has a bunch of study stuff I'm going to make use of sooner than later. This particular bunch of Elmers are heavy into 2 Meter and centimeter stuff on the local repeaters. (Three that I know of within line of sight distances if there were fewer trees.)

    The class will test only Tech, but there are several around that can proctor a general test. There are at least three guys certified to do it.
  19. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    My social media IS a disaster, what are you talking about?!
  20. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Just tweeted this
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