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The social web is challenging emergency managers, government agencies and aid organizations to adapt time-honored expertise with real-time information from the public. In short, the convergence of social networks and mobile has thrown the old response playbook out the window.
Testimony of Michael Beckerman to the Congress Committee on Homeland SecurityEmergency Management 2.0: How #SocialMedia are Transforming Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Really interesting testimony to the committee. Be sure to check out Michael Beckerman’s testimony, which sets the stage for how Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet giants assist with disasters and response.

My name is Michael Beckerman, and I am the President and CEO of the Internet Association, a trade organization comprised of 17 leading Internet companies across the globe, including AOL, Airbnb,, ebay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster, Path, Rackspace,, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Yahoo, and Zynga.

Our members have been on the forefront of efforts to leverage new technology and communication platforms to inform the public before, during and after a disaster, and to facilitate recovery and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath. … 

Communicating during a disaster is now an interactive conversation. Millions of minds converge to solve problems, seek out answers and disseminate vital information. Important news can be shared with millions, and by millions, quickly and efficiently.

The social web is challenging emergency managers, government agencies and aid organizations to adapt time-honored expertise with real-time information from the public (Please see Exhibit A). In short, the convergence of social networks and mobile has thrown the old response playbook out the window.” 


Mr. Michael Beckerman 
President and CEO, The Internet Association

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [PPTX]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]
  • Witness Biography [PDF]

Mr. Jorge L. Cardenas 
Vice President, Asset Management and Centralized Services, Public Service Electric and Gas Company

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Jason Matthew Payne 
Philanthropy Lead, Palantir Technologies, Inc.

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [JPG]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Matthew Stepka 
Vice President for Technology for Social Impact,

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [PDF]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Support Documents

  • Witness List [PDF]Added 05/31/2013 at 03:06 PM


Emergency responders applied field tourniquets to many of those injured by the explosions at Monday’s Boston Marathon. 

The device, often improvised, had fallen out of favor with many in the medical establishment, but the American military experience in Iraq and Afghanistan changed that. 

First responders are key to emergency events. Really good video on how field tourniquets are used in the military and public emergency situations.Also, you just gotta follow PRI The World.


Embeddable Resources from WNYC ahead of Hurricane Sandy: 




Really great maps!

Nearly 750 villages suddenly flooded in Myanmar (aka Burma). Over 30,000 people evacuated. Hundreds feared missing, including children. 500,000+ acres of farms flooded.

More, including donations, at Global Voices.

The action allows the state to become eligible for Federal Assistance.


The Associated Press Posted on Fri, Apr. 27, 2012 10:52 AM

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — An overwhelming number of jellyfish-like creatures clogging seawater intake screens forced operators on Thursday to shut down the Unit 2 reactor at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, Pacific Gas & Electric officials said.

click here to continue reading…

Call for urgent action in Sahel to prevent humanitarian emergency

The food crisis in the Sahel will turn into a humanitarian emergency unless urgent action is taken, said the NGO Oxfam as it launched a $36.3m (£23m) emergency appeal for west Africa on Friday.

Levels of malnutrition in areas of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and northern Senegal are becoming dangerously high, warns the NGO, hovering between a rate of 10% and 15%. Some areas have exceeded 15%, which is considered the emergency threshold by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.

Among the indicators used to determine famine conditions are when acute malnutrition rates exceed 30% and when recorded deaths are more than two per 10,000 people a day.

The governments of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger have already declared emergencies and called for international assistance.

According to figures published by the UN last week, more than 13 million people are at risk of hunger in the Sahel, with more than 10 million now considered food-insecure. More than 1 million children are at risk of severe malnutrition.

The situation in the region is being blamed on a mix of drought, high food prices and conflict.

Via The Guardian

Donate $3: Oxfam