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September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Twitter wants to bolster its position as a go-to source of information during emergencies and other crises with a new notifications feature. Twitter Alerts is designed to let credible organizations enhance the visibility of certain tweets when other communications services are not available. It is intended for crises, disaster and emergency communications such as warnings of imminent dangers, preventive instructions, evacuation directions and crowd management. "Twitter Alerts is a new way to get accurate and important information when you need it most," Twitter product manager Gaby Pena said Wednesday. More than 100 nongovernmental organizations and government agencies in the U.S., Japan and Korea are participating in the program. In the U.S., those groups include the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
More at http://www.pcworld.com/article/2049390/twitter-partners-with-fema-americ...

September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

What would you cook with granola, graham crackers, chili, canned peaches and apple juice? That’s what the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) wants to know. Inspired by the foods found in emergency kits and culinary competition shows like Top Chef and Chopped, the state’s Emergency Kit Cook-Off is encouraging people to create recipes using nonperishable ingredients. Started in 2011, the idea for the cook-off came up during a meeting of the division’s public information officers who are self-described foodies, said Ethan Riley, one of the PIOs. “We looked at what the typical outreach programs are. We’ve done poster contests before; we’ve done a video contest before,” he said. “With this we wanted to take a chance and an atypical approach to outreach.”
More at http://www.emergencymgmt.com/training/Emergency-Kit-Cook-Off-Arizona.html

September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Severe thunderstorms, often exhibiting destructive rainfall, hail and tornadoes, are one of the primary causes of catastrophic losses in the United States. In 2012, eleven weather disasters in the United States crossed the billion-dollar threshold in economic losses. Seven of those events were related to severe thunderstorms. New climate analyses indicate that global warming is likely to cause a robust increase in the conditions that produce these types of storms across much of the country over the next century.
More at http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20130925-u-s-to-face-an-increa...

September 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Patrick Meier, formerly of Ushahidi, talk on the use of time-critical crowdsourcing to verify social media reports shared during disasters: http://irevolution.net/2013/07/21/tedx-crowdsourcing-verification/

September 23, 2013 | 0 comments

Water and wastewater managers are missing substantial opportunities to save energy and money, according to a new report.The report also identifies significant gaps in knowledge about the amount of water used to extract energy resources such as natural gas, oil, and coal, and to generate electricity.
More at http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20130923-missed-opportunities-...