Tuesday, September 17, 2013

District of Columbia needs to step up it's SMEM game and Navy Yard Shooting is a prime example.

Here is the feed for our Emergency Management Agency,  and as you can see that it's not to active and  until 6 hours into Navy Yard Shooter incident it was not even active.   And, at no time was it was it a go to source for information on what the District was up to and what citizen can expect.   Considering that this started at 8:20 AM to have no one for the top of the EMA/ Executive  food chain (see below) not say a thing until 5 plus hours into it shows the lack of awareness or ability to respond in current and meaningful way by the very people who's job it is to protect us.

To us the problem we face in the District is highlighted by the name of the vary agency that is suppose to be out in from of this and All Hazards for that matter.    It's the Homeland Security part. Having dealt with the Agency since 2001 when it was just an EMA we could tell right away that adding this Homeland Security part to the name started the whole closed loop mentality of the District at the very time the world of Emergency Management was embracing Social Media DC decided to shun it. 

For those that aren't aware of how the District of Columbia's Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) plays out the Mayor is the defacto Incident Commander (IC) and even more important for this blog post normally the Mayor's social media and public statements are the message from the District to it's citizens and anyone else for that matter.    As you can see the there is nothing really of any use here for anyone.

So our question is who is in charge of helping the public and the District for that matter when we experience emergencies like the Navy Yard Shooter let alone "All Hazard" planning which is what official and agencies like Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency.  I have to say that this exchange on Twitter pretty much sums up the state of confusion in the District with regards to SM let alone communicating with the public.

We're raising these concerns a residents of the District of Columbia and know all too well that by doing so we risk reprisal and even further distancing by the current administration and officials in our public safety agencies.  However,  since our and the public's in general lives and property are on the line we really didn't have a choice.  

For some background. Hastatus was hired by the District of Columbia in 2006 to help it improve it's emergency communications. We started off by redoing the Family Emergency Planning Guide and a Children's Emergency Planning Guide.  Member of Hastatus, have served as a member of the transition advisors for Mayor Vince Gray Administration and advised  HSEMA director Millicent Williams on a number of Social Media Emergency Management strategies .

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