How to Plan & Build a VOST for your Community or Organization

I share this amazing piece of information given to the world by @sct_r Scott Reuter. This short guide to setting up a #VOST is great start to setting up VOST in your community.

think disaster: a blog by Scott Reuter (@sct_r)

Today’s the one year anniversary of the VOST Initiative, and in honor of all of the good work that’s been done by the VOST Initiative group and our “Osbourne” VOST Team, and the other VOST groups that are beginning to spring up, I thought I’d share some thoughts on VOST advocacy and setup. *

Why a VOST? (Social Media Preparedness.)
Many people in the SMEM (Social Media in Emergency Management) community are expressing interest in starting a VOST, or Virtual Operation Support Team. While it’s possible to set up a social media operation from scratch with new volunteers during a disaster, it can be very difficult and distracting. It’s not possible to plan for every eventuality, but having some core volunteers in place, having a plan, and being proficient with some basic social media tools will make activating your team for a social media disaster effort…

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Introducing MicroMappers for Digital Disaster Response

When it comes to Digital Networks and the future of the internet, this is where it should point. Patrick, thank you for leading in the Crisis mapping and #SMEM world, your efforts should inspire most of us, to turn to volunteering, in saving lives.

iRevolutions

The UN activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) on December 3, 2012 to carry out a rapid damage needs assessment in response to Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines. More specifically, the UN requested that Digital Humanitarians collect and geo-reference all tweets with links to pictures or video footage capturing Typhoon damage. To complete this mission, I reached out to my colleagues at CrowdCrafting. Together, we customized a microtasking app to filter, classify and geo-reference thousands of tweets. This type of rapid damage assessment request was the first of its kind, which means that setting up the appropriate workflows and technologies took a while, leaving less time for the tagging, verification and analysis of the multimedia content pointed to in the disaster tweets. Such is the nature of innovation; optimization takes place through iteration and learning.

Microtasking is key to the future of digital humanitarian response, which is…

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Risk & Emergency Management Experts Reunite in Honduras

Regional Experts from Civil Protection Agencies and Emergency Management Agencies of the Central American, Caribbean and South America (Argentinian Blue Helmets), came together in Honduras, to exchange experiences, good practices and lessons learned in the efforts to increase resiliency, coordination and cooperation efforts.

As part of the visit, the Honduran Emergency Management Agency COPECO, gave a tour of the modern installations that COPECO now has, to the Regional Experts. COPECO has, these past 3 years, been under the Direction of Minister Lisandro Rosales, and his efforts in advocating for funds, in the international community has proven great results in increasing capacity, capabilities and competencies. Because of the transparent and effective execution of international financial aid, Honduras, in the Emergency Management and Risk Management area, has become a Regional Model of Institutional Strengthening. 

 

 

EXPERTOS EN GESTION DE RIESGO DE CENTROAMERICA VISITAN COPECO | Comisión Permanente de Contingencias – COPECO – República de Honduras.

Cyber Security or CyberCARE?

The Hot Topic is Cyber security, cyber warfare, cyber crime, cyber attacks or like Christopher Wallace calls it “Cyber Intrusion” in which I totally agree. First of all, we should first focus on taking the word “war” out of the picture. By continuously using “war”, WE (as a society) assume that Departments/Ministries of Defense (Government), are responsible for dealing with intrusions to the Public and Private Sector. 

Should Government be liable for attacks coming from a foreign “ally” country to the private sector (Critical Infrastructure)?

Yesterday a very diverse and smart group of Graduate Classmates (myself included) had a great discussion about cyber security and how it mixes with DHS and Private Sector. At the end, I began to fear that “Cyber…..” may be headed towards the same path as #HealthCARE. It seems that cyber security is creating great “business” for a particular group. Why control the firewalls, when people need “someone” to protect their identity or safety, online? Is the population ready for another expense in their lives or businesses?

I would like to know what are the next steps to Cyber Intrusion securities in the U.S. and throughout the world? Will the internet be as dangerous as the “back alley” in the worst place you can imagine? Should there be a detraction strategy, regarding the limits of technology in combination with critical infrastructure and key resources?

Thanks for your opinion and comments.  

Honduras is Ready to Receive & Coordinate Humanitarian Aid From the World!!!

I am frequently amazed on how the (COPECO) Honduran Emergency Management Agency is getting better prepared. Today in Honduras, COPECO and the Foreign Relations Ministry, have duly presented, to the national authorities, as well as the International Cooperating Community and the Diplomatic Service in Honduras, the Manual for the Humanitarian Office of Foreign Aid Assistance and Coordination (Centro de Coordinación de Asistencia Humanitaria Internacional CCAHI).

These types of formalities are needed in order, for the cooperating agencies, NGOs, countries and others willing to help, to better ask for and receive the incoming aid. “Cooperation With Dignity” is the Central American Slogan for Humanitarian Assistance, and with this CCAHI manual, cooperation is definitely expected to be better handled and ultimately distributed.

How can we (as Emergency Management Agencies) better coordinate humanitarian assistance support? How often should we put the Manual to Practice (exercises, Table tops, functional, full-scale), and how flexible is the Manual in order to adapt to scalable situations/incidents that have already surpassed the capability of response? How often is the country overwhelmed with response and humanitarian capabilities?

Below (PHOTO) of Minister Lisandro Rosales from COPECO presenting the Manual to the International Diplomatic Community and Cooperating Agencies

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FEMA and The Regional of Latin, Central America and the Caribbean

I am from the amazing beautiful, tropical, green and loving Republic of Honduras. Located in the top most vulnerable areas in the Planet.
Before I came down to Washington DC, I had the privilege to work at the Comisión Permanente de Contingencias COPECO (@FEMA Analogue). Today I was wondering why, COPECO, and the other analogue emergency management agencies of the region, don’t have cooperation agreements directly with FEMA. USAID/OFDA does an amazing job at aiding and coordinating effort with Honduras and the region. But when it comes to good practices and lessons learned, shouldn’t it be the FEMA the agency willing to also contribute their good practices and knowledge with the world? As a secondary effect, a common language and standards can begin to replicate throughout the hemisphere.
For example, utilizing the Interamericana Network For Disaster Mitigation (ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATE PLATFORM) http://www.oas.org as a tool for gathering experts from FEMA, Canada Emergency Management Agency, et’ all, to share good practices with other countries.
Hopefully the results of such a voluntary effort, will bring the Western Hemisphere together, in the amazing and great task of Emergency Management, Business Crisis and continuity management, Disaster Risk Reduction and and overall, Human sustainable development.

Best, Carlos

VOST TRAINING GUIDE

I wanted to remind you, that Virtual Operation Support is always helpful and needed. Please visit the link below and join the conversations #VOST (@VOST) & #SMEM.

 

VOST TRAINING GUIDE

First of all, I want to wish a Happy Friday to all you out there, hoping that mother nature takes a rest this weekend.

I wanted to first, thank Caroline Milligan (@mm4marketing) and Scott Reuter (@sct_r) for making this incredible resource available for the world. The VOST Basics and NZ VOST Training Guide – in my opinion – that these two professionals in #SMEM have come up with.

I feel that sharing information (not withholding it) opens doors and builds on better relationships and networking.

Keep it up VOSTies. Special thanks also to Jeff Phillips (@_JSPhillips) for all his time and efforts ,which are now being shared with the world.