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Emotional Storm

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Sunday’s apocalyptic tornado that tore through the heart and soul of Joplin, Missouri is a historic tragedy that has likely forever changed the city’s fabric.  I’m writing this knowing that search and rescue efforts continue, and the death toll will likely climb higher than the 124 officially listed.

I planned on writing this Sunday night, but my virtual dog ate my homework. In other words, my computer fried. So I’m writing this on an eight year old laptop, that every once in a while just kinda sloooowwwsss dowwwnn.  Sigh.

Perhaps it was fate, as Kim Stephens posted her blog yesterday, eloquently noting the role social media is playing in the Midwest. I don’t have the time or energy to try and recreate my outstanding and creative blog post (yeah, just take my word for it).  So, I guess I’ll just share my random thoughts as I monitored the situation.

  • Subaru needs to pull their ads that make fun of TV weather personalities.  For the past month, I have been amazed and grateful for their level of scientific analysis, prediction, warnings and communication skills.  No doubt they are saving lives.
  • Speechless emotion often conveys severity and impact more than words.  TWC’s Mike Bettes told the truth without saying a word.
  • Likewise, the video shot by a customer inside a convenience store as the tornado blasted through revealed terror and calm heroism without a picture.
  • How come the streets were pretty much debris free after the tornado?  Weird.
  • Severe weather news organizations are taking full advantage of social media.  One stop shop for live video streaming and tweets.  The Weather Channel gets it.
  • Tonight, hundreds of folks are still reported as “missing”.   I’m guessing may of these folks simply can’t be contacted via cell phones, as their landlines have been likely ripped out of the ground.

Last Thursday I spoke at the first ever #140 Character Conference in Vancover, Washington.  I was honored to have been given the opportunity to preach to emergency managers and incident commanders about SM.  Big time kudos to Cheryl Bledsoe and her team for their leadership and hard work.  It was great to meet fellow government and business social media leaders.  This is just the beginning.

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About chiefb2

Retired fire chief,Type 3 AHIMT IC, PIO. Current industrial services safety professional, social media emergency management disciple (no, I'm not a "guru"). Crisis communications consultant. Dad with an open wallet.