For the past year, Dawn Brantley, the HRPDC’s Regional Inclusive Emergency Planner, has provide her talents and expertise to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG). Ms. Brantley was invited to join the VSMWG in 2013 because of her experience and expertise with social media technologies in emergency management operations. The VSMWG mission is to provide recommendations to the emergency preparedness and response community on the safe and sustainable use of social media technologies before, during, and after emergencies.
In July, the VSMWG released its guidance, Using Social Media for Enhanced Situational Awareness and Decision Support. The report provides best practices and guidance on using social media platforms within the public safety and emergency response communities, including lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing. The report “addresses various challenges associated with the use of social media for situational awareness, the integration of social media within the operational environment, and identifies areas requiring further consideration, research, and development.”
A link to Using Social Media for Enhanced Situational Awareness and Decision Support can be found on DHS’ FirstResponder.gov website .
Also, prior to joining the HRPDC, Ms. Brantley served as an Emergency Programs Manager for the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Emergency Management. Her inclusive planning and programs for people with access and functional needs in several emergency planning initiatives were recently featured as a case study in the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 777: A Guide to Regional Transportation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events.
The case study cites the emergency management agency’s work with Access Alaska, the largest Center for Independent Living in the state, to plan for access and functional needs populations, as well as enhancements to the city’s disaster registry program.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 777: A Guide to Regional Transportation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events can be viewed on the TRB website, http://www.trb.org .
Finally, on August 19th, Ms. Brantley, provided a webinar training on “How to set up an Inclusive Shelter Exercise” for emergency management professionals in FEMA Region 3. The Region includes Washington DC, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Nearly 30 professionals from Region 3 and across the country logged into the webinar to hear Ms. Brantley share her experience with Anchorage, Alaska’s shelter exercise. The exercise included movement and set up of functional needs shelter and support equipment, public volunteers sleeping overnight in the shelter, including individuals with disabilities, educational programming for the participants, and tested Anchorage’s new FANS (Functional and Access Needs Support) Team volunteer program.
Inclusive Shelter diagram