Emergency Management Blogs

Emergency Management Blog - Gerald Baron: Crisis Comm
Crisis Comm

by Gerald Baron: Crisis and emergency communication strategies

Subscribe via RSS | About this Blog | Contact Gerald Baron | Blog Roll

Progress toward text-to-911
July 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to Crisis Comm

Get Gerald Baron posts delivered via

Emergency Management's Weekly Email
Crisis Comm RSS feed

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT EVENTS



Events for police, fire, and the whole community of first responders!

Our Summits are a superb opportunity for gaining new ideas, best practices and peer relationships critical to collaborative response capabilities in your region. View our events calendar!

From the earliest days of texting and channels like Twitter, a major concern of emergency managers were that people would use these means as a replacement for 911. This first came to my attention about 3 years ago when a pre-teen girl fell into an empty well in Australia. The good news was she had a cellphone with her. The bad news is she forgot the phone was to make phone calls--in this case 000, the Australian equivalent of 911. The good news is her friends were monitoring her Facebook page when she posted her predicament. The best news is she was quickly rescued unharmed.

Emergency agencies using social media routinely put "do not use this for emergencies. Call 911." This is wise and good practice. However, that doesn't stop people from using social media channels or texting when help is desperately needed. That's why it is a very good thing that the FCC is working to facilitate cell carriers to make text to 911 a reality. Progress is very much mixed on this front at this report show. A slow rollout is in progress.

But what this means is every emergency response agency needs to incorporate some means of monitoring and responding. This is particularly true in major disasters like earthquakes, floods or severe weather where cell coverage may be knocked out and text messaging still works. Disaster after disaster has shown the internet to be the most resilient so those who can access it outside of the cell networks will continue to use it--and may use it to call for help.

Where do you stand on this? Not practical? Not worth the effort? Or do you see it as part of your responsibility to respond as your customers expect of you?

Top

Comments


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic or a personal attack. Comments are limited to 2,000 characters.





Latest Emergency Management News

Moulage
Moulage Provides Realism for ShakeOut Disaster Drill

The morbid makeup ensures that emergency responders have realistic-looking victims for disaster preparation drills.
Police officer working on a laptop
FirstNet Explained

FirstNet, the proposed nationwide broadband public safety network, is big, expensive and complicated. Here are a few basic things you need to know.
FirstNet Testbeds (Interactive Map)

FirstNet began negotiations with eight testbed jurisdictions, and the projects that did reach agreements should help shape the FirstNet network.

4 Ways to Get EM

Subscribe to Emergency Management MagazineFollow Emergency Management on TwitterSubscribe to Emergency Management HeadlinesSubscribe to Emergency Management Newsletters

Featured Papers

Blog Archives