In the military and many times in history time is marked by wars. They punctuate the relationships between countries and sometimes bring great calamity to a nation's people. In the emergency management field time is marked by disasters. In the last eleven years we have had three watershed events that have changed "everything" radically. Those are the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and now Hurricane Sandy. 9/11 swung us to a full assault on counter terrorism and to the detriment of a balanced all-hazards approach to emergency management. Hurricane Katrina swung the pendulum back towards the middle and pointed out many other issues a modern society might have with human behavior in the face of a disaster and nature's wrath. Now we have Sandy on our timeline.
Social media has come of age and what know and believed about it will be considered Before Sandy or BS. Now, today we are in the After Sandy (AS) era. There are many lessons to be learned from the experiences people and governments had from the use of social media. The Haiti Earthquake was the first alarm bell for social media and what it can do for emergency management. With each successive disaster we are learning more about how to use this new tool. There is much more to be done and much more to learn.
See Kim Stephens blog post Five SMEM Observations and Recommendations From Hurricane Sandy and also check the link in her post to 10 reasons why there'll now be a before Sandy and a post-sandy in SMEM which is a blog post by Patrice Cloutier.