Help Research and Support the Response to Hurricane Irma

Help Research and Support the Response to Hurricane Irma

We need your help! If you have a few minutes, please read below.  

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, hundreds, maybe thousands of organizations are preparing to descend upon the state to support the survivors. It is an effort that takes many different types of people from many different organizations. But who are these groups?  How do they find each other?  

These questions are the impetus for the Response Roster Project. We want to understand response efforts from the perspective of both the official and unofficial response. Who are the unsung heroes and responders taking time to help in any way they can?

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Evaluating Preparedness at Different Levels of Analysis

Evaluating Preparedness at Different Levels of Analysis

I recently conducted an academic/practice-based research project that provided a better understanding of preparedness evaluation. One interesting thing to come out of this research was a capabilities-based exercise framework for a Federal regulatory agency. I will be posting an overview of this research once it is officially published. 

Another interesting aspect of the research confirmed how preparedness evaluation is still a complicated and difficult process that doesn't always yield the best results. We still have many...

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What Should Researchers Know About First Responders?

I have been invited to speak next Thursday on a panel at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Academic Research Symposium.  The title of the panel is "Social Media Research for First Responders and Analysts" and it's goal is " help researchers understand what operational capability gaps need to be filled."

In hopes of informing my panel talk, I want to ask you what should researchers know about the operational needs of first responders?  Especially as it relates to social media!

I am excited about this workshop because it starts to put practitioners with academics in hopes of aligning the priorities of both worlds.  In fact, a new term is emerging called the "pracademic."  The pracademic has experience as both a practitioner and an academic and chooses to work to align the worlds so that academic research can be as applicable as possible.  Patrick Meier captures this well as "scholar-practioner" in Advice to Future PhDs from 2 Unusual Graduating PhDs.

Some prior practioner-based gap analysis work has already been done on this by DHS's Virtual Social Media Working Group (of which I am a member).  In June of this year, the VSMWG released Lessons Learned: Social Media and Hurricane Sandy.  The report highlighted many of the success and learning points regarding social media.  On page 29, it highlights a number of technology, process, and policy gaps requiring further attention.  The major themes included:

  • Big Data
  • Compliance and Requirements
  • Funding
  • Standards, Training, and Guidance
  • Policy and Process
  • Partnerships
  • Technology, Tools, and Features

I will undoubtedly speak to these gaps, but other feedback and thoughts would be helpful and greatly appreciated!

Online Disaster Communities...What/where are they?

A number of disaster related online communities and portals related have popped up in recent years.  I am researching and compiling a list of all social network, portals, blog, and news resources related to disaster management, business continuity, and homeland security.  I hope to publish this online in the next month for free. Please comment on your favorite online community.  Please include the target audience as I will be organizing the list by end users.

For example, here is a short list of communities that I have already identified:

Reply by leaving a comment below or directly at  Thanks for your support!