Monday, May 23, 2011

When All Else Fails . . . Facebook?

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers this morning are going out to those killed and injured last night in Joplin.

The line is familiar to every amateur radio operator - the tag line of ham radio emergency volunteers. But on this day, I'm reminded of the ability of Facebook to become that last line of communication for an agency. Reading the Joplin Globe this morning, the local school system posted the alert that all schools were closed after last night's devastating tornadoes, and that until further notice, all official communications would be posted on the school system's official Facebooks page.

Why? My guess is that since the technology center campus was one of the ones destroyed, the systems servers and in turn website probably went down in the storm. Not unlike university athletic department websites for schools like Lamar and Tulane during the 2006 hurricanes, it becomes the stand off back up information system.

I mentioned this earlier in the year regarding our own weather troubles at Arkansas - have you incorporated social media tools into your overall emergency communications plans?

And remember back from the Rogers schools Twitter spoof, this is one time where Facebook's limited duplication ability enhances the security and verifiable nature of your groups messaging in an emergency.

No comments: