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It’s Time To Herd The Cats

“Volunteers bring risk that is hard to manage.” This recent tweet, made by someone with purported emergency management experience, was made in response to my asking the question about several tweets they posted discounting the concept of using volunteers for ...

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Fuzzy Rules

This recent headline in my local newspaper caught my eye; “Whatcom County councilors like Facebook; public-records rules remain fuzzy” The piece briefly examines the use of Facebook by county elected officials, and the reasons why some use it and others ...

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Somebody Needs To Own It

Who’s tired of hearing about the ugliness in Ferguson, Missouri? Me, for one.  I’m tired of watching a community commit suicide by Molotov cocktail, while dedicated police officers try to contain the chaos without getting hurt. I’m tired of hearing ...

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FSACK-A New Epidemic of Arrogance

Is there something in the water?  Recent stories of leadership faux pas  by fire chiefs, including allegations of criminal and racial activities are damaging the reputation of their departments and the fire service in general.  Dave Statter’s blog, Statter911 features ...

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Hashtags, SMashtags

“Standardize hashtags”- Ugh, here we go again. Another call for standardizing the use of hashtags during crisis. A report by the United Nations was just released, “Hashtag Standards For Emergencies”. Patrick Meier’s recent blog post provides excellent summary and background information ...

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Response Times-Time To Get Real!

On October 23rd, the Los Angeles Times published an article about LAFD’s response time performance to emergency calls. “No progress on LAFD 911 response times, new data show” blared the headline, summarizing data about how long it takes to; 1. ...

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Fearbola Is Here

A couple months ago I wrote a piece about public concern with bringing an Ebola infected U.S. citizen back home for treatment. At the time I thought the hysteria surrounding this maneuver was way out of proportion to the potential ...

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There Is No Silver Bullet

I just got back from the Oregon Emergency Medical Services conference in Salem, where I talked about the use of social media for crisis communications. After the three presentations I asked one of the conference coordinators if he had heard ...

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1.5 Hours Is Now 1.5 Days

A videotaped interview of four government employees responsible for handling public information functions after the August 24, 2014 Napa, California earthquake reveals real challenges and inherent conflicts between quickly informing the public, fulfilling incident command responsibilities and ensuring the safety ...

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Thoughts on Crisis Comms Leadership

Preaching about the use of social media tools during crisis is much easier than actually doing it. Especially for smaller agencies with limited staff. But, does that mean it can’t be done? Absolutely not. Because of the recent Ferguson, Missouri ...

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