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InRelief.org

InRelief Updates

A collection of recent InRelief.org announcements, news, and updates.

Japan Seeks U.S. Help With Nuclear Reactor Emergency

posted Mar 14, 2011, 1:34 PM by Eric Ackerman   [ updated Mar 14, 2011, 1:36 PM ]


The Japanese government formally asked the United States' Nuclear Regulatory Commission for help in stabilizing its troubled nuclear reactors in the wake of the country's massive earthquake and tsunami. 
The NRC sent two boiling water reactor experts to Japan as part of a team of aid workers to help in the recovery efforts.

A series of nuclear reactors continue to deteriorate at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, raising worries of a nuclear meltdown.

After two hydrogen explosions in three days at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, a third reactor has lost its ability to cool. Officials are increasingly concerned about unit 2 at the plant.

"They continue to work hard to raise the water level to cover the fuel. Let's pray again," Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice chairman of Japan's Atomic Energy Commission, posted on Facebook today.

The fuel rods on unit 2 have been fully exposed for the second time today, a dangerous development in the effort to stop the reactor from melting down. Japanese officials said that a closed steam vent has caused a dip in the water levels, allowing the rods to be exposed, the Associated Press reported.

Japanese plant races to contain meltdowns after two blasts; third reactor loses cooling capacity

posted Mar 14, 2011, 3:54 AM by Eric Ackerman


A second explosion rocked Japan’s seaside Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex Monday, this time destroying an outer building at unit 3. A Japanese government official separately said that a third reactor at the six-reactor facility had lost its cooling capacity, adding to the complications facing the engineers who try to limit the damage of a partial meltdown
The explosion at unit 3 did not damage the core containment structure, and Japanese authorities asserted that there would be little increase in radiation levels around the plant. But the explosion -- a result of hydrogen build-up -- prompted Japan’s nuclear agency to warn those within 12 miles to stay indoors and keep air conditioners off. The blast injured 11 people, one seriously.


The string of earthquake- and tsunami-triggered troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi plant began with the failure of the primary and back-up cooling systems, necessary to keep reactors from overheating.


Powerful quake, tsunami kills hundreds in Japan

posted Mar 14, 2011, 3:49 AM by Eric Ackerman


Friday, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan shook apart homes and buildings, cracked open highways and unnerved even those who have learned to live with swaying skyscrapers. Then came a devastating tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan and killed hundreds of people.

The violent wall of water swept away houses, cars and ships. Fires burned out of control. Power to a cooling system at a nuclear power plant was knocked out, forcing thousands to flee. A boat was caught in the vortex of a whirlpool at sea.

The death toll rose steadily throughout the day, but the true extent of the disaster was not known because roads to the worst-hit areas were washed away or blocked by debris and airports were closed.

Deadly Protests Erupt in Cholera-Stricken Haiti

posted Nov 22, 2010, 1:49 AM by Eric Ackerman



AFP - Violent protests erupted in Haiti over a cholera epidemic that claimed nearly 1,000 lives, sparking clashes with UN peacekeepers that left at least two men dead, officials said.

The UN Mission in Haiti issued a statement late Monday linking the protests to November 28 presidential elections, and appealed to Haitians not to allow themselves to be manipulated by "the enemies of stability and democracy."

"The way the events unfolded leads to the belief that these incidents were politically motivated, aimed at creating a climate of insecurity ahead of the elections," it said.

The clashes between rock-hurling protesters and UN peacekeepers erupted in Cap-Haitien, the country's second largest city, and in the central town of Hinche, where angry crowds blamed the United Nations for the spiralling cholera epidemic.

In Cap-Haitien, doctors and police said around a dozen people were being treated for bullet wounds, with some in serious condition.

A 20-year-old man was killed outside a UN base in Cap-Haitien's Quartier-Morin during clashes between protesters and peacekeepers who fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowd.

"There was a demonstrator who had a weapon and fired at a soldier, and the soldier returned fire in legitimate self-defense," said Vicenzo Pugliese, a spokesman for the UN mission known by its initials MINUSTAH. "The soldier was not injured."

A local official, Bimps Noel, said the peacekeepers first fired to disperse the crowds, "and then later, I have the impression they fired on a man."
He said the young man was shot in the back, noting that the "UN tanks were hit by stones."

Another young Haitian was killed by gunfire on a street in Cap-Haitien during the clashes, a police source said.

Doctor Yves Jasmin, the top local health official, told AFP around 10 people had been taken to the Justinien hospital, but described the injuries as light. A police source put the number at 14, including two seriously wounded.

"The situation is very difficult, and there is a lot of violence in the city. I am blocked in the city, and I can't get to the hospital," Jasmin said.

Demonstrators set a police station and vehicles inside on fire as they went on the rampage, accusing the government of "leaving the population to die," witnesses told local radio.

The situation remained tense there into the early hours Tuesday.

"Sporadic gunfire was heard in the city, according to witnesses, while groups of looters began sacking a food warehouse belonging to an international organization," a police source told AFP.

The UN mission reaffirmed "its firm commitment to support the National Police of Haiti in the maintenance of order and security in the country to assure the continuation of the electoral process and Haiti's reconstruction."

Protesters vented particular anger at MINUSTAH. A Nepalese contingent that arrived in the country shortly before the cholera epidemic broke out in mid-October is blamed by many as the source of the outbreak.

The United Nations is probing claims the outbreak emanated from septic tanks at the camp near the central town of Mirebalais, where the Nepalese are based, but the World Health Organization says finding the source is not the first priority.

Protesters reportedly threw stones at the UN peacekeeping unit in the central town of Hinche, less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Mirebalais, during a protest involving some 400 people.

The protests showed the cholera was "an issue obviously of national security," said Nigel Fisher, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Haiti.
Less than a month after Haiti's first cholera outbreak in half a century, the number of confirmed number of fatalities stood at 917 and was rising by more than 50 a day. There have been almost 15,000 infections.

Most deaths have been in central and northern Haiti, with the disease not yet widespread in the capital Port-au-Prince, which was badly damaged in a January quake that killed 250,000 people and left over a million homeless.

Officials fear the cholera epidemic could spread exponentially if it infiltrates squalid relocation camps around the capital where hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors live in cramped and unsanitary conditions.

Some 200 cholera deaths have been reported in the north and 100 in Cap-Haitien, health officials said. Schools in Cap-Haitien are closed as parents are refusing to send children to class, fearing they may get sick.

A top UN official said there are now cholera cases in every one of Haiti's 10 departments and warned that aid agencies were expecting a significant increase in the number of infections.

State of Emergency in Flooded Colombia

posted Nov 21, 2010, 2:34 AM by Eric Ackerman


(CNN) -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has declared a state of emergency in 28 of the nation's 32 departments because of heavy rains and flooding that have affected some 1.2 million people.

He called on the international community to help and said the capacity of the Colombian government is overwhelmed.

Flooding and mudslides have killed at least 136 people, injured 205 and left 20 missing, the nation's Interior and Justice Ministry reported.
Emergency officials say the heavy rain has led to problems in 561 municipalities in the South American nation.

"Many have lost everything they had and the capacity of the government [to help them] has been overwhelmed. We're trying to find ways to get more resources and that's why we're calling on the business sector, the public in general, and the international community to help us because, unfortunately, the situation is getting worse," said Santos.

He declared the state of emergency after meeting Thursday with ministry officials. Santos made the announcement on national television, saying the declaration would help get aid to those who need it.

The flooding has also damaged the nation's crops and livestock inventory, officials said.

Meteorologists are predicting rain for the next two weeks over large parts of the country, with heavy downpours expected in the next few days.

Nepalese Army Inadvertently Brings Cholera to Haiti

posted Nov 21, 2010, 1:22 AM by Eric Ackerman   [ updated Nov 22, 2010, 1:46 AM ]


It began as a rumor that farmers saw waste from a U.N. peacekeeping base flow into a river. Within days of the talk, hundreds downstream had died from cholera.

The mounting circumstantial evidence that U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal brought cholera to Haiti was largely dismissed by U.N. officials. Haitians who asked about it were called political or paranoid. Foreigners were accused of playing "the blame game." The World Health Organization said the question was simply "not a priority."

But this week, after anti-U.N. riots and inquiries from health experts, the top U.N. representative in Haiti said he is taking the allegations very seriously.

"It is very important to know if it came from (the Nepalese base) or not, and someday I hope we will find out," U.N. envoy Edmond Mulet told The Associated Press.

The answer would have implications for U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world, he said.

It would affect the relationship between the U.N. and Haiti: If its peacekeepers misled, it could lose credibility for tasks such as helping oversee next week's election. It could affect the job of U.N. humanitarian workers, who work separately from the peacekeepers.

It would help answer scientific questions: Is the source still out there? How does this cholera strain spread? Does it pose a threat to the region, including the southern United States?

When riots broke out across northern Haiti this week, the U.N. blamed them on politicians trying to disrupt the upcoming vote. But observers say the U.N.'s early stance fanned the flames.

"If the U.N. had said from the beginning, 'We're going to look into this' ... I think that, in fact, would have been the best way in reducing public anger," said Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. "The way to contribute to public anger is to lie."


Associated Press writers Michael Stobbe in Atlanta and Edith Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Logistical Interoperability between NGOs Demonstrated with 30 tons of supplies to Haiti as Hurricane Roared In

posted Nov 15, 2010, 11:45 PM by Eric Ackerman   [ updated Nov 21, 2010, 1:28 AM ]


60,000# of medical supplies where sent to Haiti aboard two 727's for Medishare, J/P HRO, Partners in Health and HAS Haiti. Later, a 767 chartered from Miami to PAP with 65000# of IV solution and 20,000# of additional medical supplies for Partners in Health, Ministry of Health & J/P HRO. The American Red Cross funded these shipments.

These flights have been a true testament to the fact that logistical interoperability between NGO's is a must in times of crisis.

Sumatran Tsunami kills more than 100; Hundreds Missing

posted Oct 26, 2010, 9:09 AM by Eric Ackerman

JAKARTA — A tsunami that pounded remote islands in western Indonesia following an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra killed more than 100 people, officials said on Tuesday, and hundreds more were missing.

The 7.5 magnitude quake hit 78 km west of South Pagai, one of the Mentawai islands, late on Monday. Local legislator Hendri Dori Satoko told Metro TV the latest toll was 108 dead and 502 missing, Reuters reported.

The death toll stood at 113, according to The Associated Press. While there was no explanation for the different numbers, discrepancies are common the immediate aftermath of such events.

Photo Source: Arif Pribadi  /  EPA

Volcano Merapi Erupts

posted Oct 26, 2010, 8:57 AM by Eric Ackerman   [ updated Oct 26, 2010, 9:17 AM ]


Indonesia's Mount Merapi has begun to erupt, spewing searing clouds of volcanic ash and rocks into the sky, the country's chief volcanologist has said. The mountain, which had been rumbling for hours, started to erupt just before dusk on Tuesday, a day after the agency raised the alert status to the highest level.

Exercise 24 Media Coverage Report

posted Oct 4, 2010, 8:53 AM by Jeff Giasson   [ updated Oct 4, 2010, 10:39 AM ]

 

View the text of the articles below or follow the View Clip link to see the story as it was seen in the publication, online or on-air. These news clips are provided by the Marketing & Communications Department of San Diego State University. Questions and submissions may be sent to marcomm@mail.sdsu.edu

 

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Disaster Response Gets Boost From Viz Lab Geo-Animations

09/29/2010

Government Technology - Online

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Disaster drill in San Diego tests social media response

09/29/2010

OhMyGov!

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Countries Participate in Cyber Earthquake Drill

09/28/2010

KPSP-TV - Online

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Social Networking through Disaster – Exercise24

09/28/2010

SYS-CON Media

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Fake Earthquake Disaster Drill Tests Facebook, Twitter

09/27/2010

V1 Magazine

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VIDEO: Disaster Training Goes High Tech

09/27/2010

KSWB-TV

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VIDEO: Social Media used for Disaster Warning

09/27/2010

KSWB-TV

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VIDEO: Social Media used for Disaster Training

09/27/2010

10News at 5 PM - KGTV-TV

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VIDEO: Disaster Training uses Social Media

09/27/2010

XEWT-TV

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VIDEO: Disaster Training Exercise

09/27/2010

KBNT-TV

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Fake earthquake disaster drill tests Facebook, Twitter

09/25/2010

Daily Caller, The

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Fake earthquake drill tests Facebook, Twitter

09/25/2010

Financial News USA

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Exercise 24 Uses Social Media in Disaster Exercise

09/25/2010

Good Morning San Diego at 5 AM - KUSI-TV

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Exercise 24 Uses Social Media

09/25/2010

AM Live Saturday - KFSN-TV

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Exercise 24 Continues at San Diego State

09/25/2010

Good Morning San Diego at 5 AM - KUSI-TV

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Exercise 24 Uses Social Media

09/25/2010

Eyewitness News 8 AM Saturday - KABC-TV

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Social Media Used in Natural Disaster Drill

09/25/2010

New England Cable News

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Social Media Used in Natural Disaster Test

09/25/2010

News 14 Carolina - Charlotte Bureau

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Exercise 24 Uses Social Media

09/25/2010

KMBC Sat 6 pm - KMBC

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9.2 Earthquake...Only a Test

09/24/2010

KOGO-AM - Online

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Morning Report: Blood Work

09/24/2010

Voice of San Diego

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Fake earthquake disaster drill tests Facebook, Twitter

09/24/2010

CNN.com

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Fake quake tests Facebook, Twitter

09/24/2010

sandiego.com

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VIDEO: Event Focuses On Social Media During Disasters

09/24/2010

KGTV-TV - Online

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AUDIO: Twitter And Facebook Can Save Lives During A Disaster

09/24/2010

KPBS-TV - Online

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Fake Tsunami Hits California: A Test for Social Media Sites

09/24/2010

Associated Content

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Reality Check: September 24, 2010

09/24/2010

Hotnewz.TV

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VIDEO: Earthquake Drill Tests Social Media

09/24/2010

Fox 5 Morning News - KSWB-TV

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Earthquake Drill Hosted by San Diego State University

09/24/2010

San Diego 6 News at 5 AM - San Diego 6 The CW (XETV-TV)

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Earthquake Drill at San Diego State

09/24/2010

Good Morning San Diego at 5 AM - KUSI-TV

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Exercise 24 to Simulate Earthquake

09/24/2010

Q13 Fox Morning News - KCPQ-TV

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VIDEO: Exercise to Simulate Earthquake

09/24/2010

NBC 7/39 News at 4 PM - KNSD-TV

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VIDEO: Emergency Response Uses Social Media

09/24/2010

10News at 7 PM - KGTV-TV

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VIDEO: Social Media Tested in Emergency Exercise

09/24/2010

KUSI News at 6 PM - KUSI-TV

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Blog: Earthquake Drill Test on Facebook, Twitter

09/24/2010

Carrie Fox's Blog

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VIDEO: Social Media Used to Test Emergency Response

09/24/2010

San Diego 6 News at 10 PM - San Diego 6 The CW (XETV-TV)

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Take part in big quake test on Twitter

09/23/2010

Orange County Register - Online

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Nightmarish earthquake drill set for San Diego

09/23/2010

San Diego Union-Tribune - Online

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Quest Means Business: Exercise 24

09/23/2010

CNN International London

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Defentect To Demonstrate DefenCall at Global Disaster Event, Exercise 24

09/23/2010

PR Newswire - Online

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VIDEO: Earthquake Drill will Explore Effectiveness of Social Media

09/23/2010

10News Midday - KGTV-TV

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Earthquake Drill to use Social Media

09/23/2010

NBC 7/39 News at 11 PM - KNSD-TV

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Cyberquake Expected in California This Week

09/20/2010

Internet Evolution

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Disaster response, one tweet at a time

09/19/2010

Charlotte Observer - Online

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Disaster Response Gets Boost From Viz Lab Geo-Animations | View Clip

09/29/2010

Government Technology - Online

Emergency Management magazine visited the San Diego State University Immersive Visualization Center (Viz Lab), a Navy-sponsored organization that produces geographic animations for first responders around the globe.

Viz Lab geographers and technologists aim to create a shared visual experience for field responders and those located in the command center. The animations achieve this with 3-D representations that give command center employees truer-to-life images than flat maps. Numerous defense agencies and other types of government organizations maintain relationships with the Viz Lab and send imagery they collect at disasters to the San Diego organization.

This empowers the Viz Lab to fuse imagery from numerous sources to give responders a level of situational awareness that often evaded them in the past. The end result is an ability to approach disasters more proactively, deploy responders more usefully and move civilians to safety more quickly, according to Viz Lab staff.




Disaster drill in San Diego tests social media response | View Clip

09/29/2010

OhMyGov!

Last week San Diego State University hosted a two-day event called Exercise24 that was developed specifically to test the effectiveness of using social media in an emergency. In response to the criticality of developing new ways to respond to disasters, the participants came from around the world and included US European Command, the United Nations, and the Mexican navy.

The catastrophe scenario imagined by the Exercise24 had all the elements of a Hollywood disaster flick in need of a Bruckheimer. Called "Trigger Quake," the exercise kicked off with a simulated 9.2 earthquake in the Aleutians. This was followed by an enormous tsunami striking the California coast five hours later, which ruptured offshore oil wells and triggered 7.2 magnitude aftershocks all down the San Andreas Fault. If SDSU's intent was to provide the responders with a load of critical emergencies to deal with over an extended geographical area, then this nightmare scenario hit the mark.

Around 09:30 am Pacific time on Friday, a flurry of messages by event participants started hitting Twitter:

X24 IS A TEST, NOT REAL Earthquake! Coronado Beach has snapped. People in the water!

X24 IS A TEST, NOT REAL News warning for tsunami after quake! What do you do in case of tsunami?? TV says to flee!

X24 IS A TEST, NOT REAL Product of tsunami a tanker sailing on coast of Baja CA carrying 20,000 tons of oil shipwreck aground in Rosarito Beach.

X24 IS A TEST, NOT REAL Social media reports of bodies (human and animal) washing ashore @Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Leucadia and Del Mar.

"You get a lot of citizens who become your eyes on an event," said Eric Frost, director of SDSU's Immersive Visualization Center, or VizLab. "You get people reporting on not only things like a fire but a traffic accident or whether Mrs. Smith is still at the convalescent home. People come to take care of their own community rather than expecting the government to do all of it. This is citizen journalism."

Working along with SDSU and its partners in this exercise were the United States Navy and the website inrelief.org, which provides humanitarian and relief news in disaster impacted areas. The site serves as a clearinghouse for emergency information and in a real emergency would be monitored by organizations like the American Red Cross to track needs and develop solutions. During the test, participants and the public were asked to check into the site to be sure it was capable of handling the huge amount of traffic a true emergency might produce.

The general public was also asked to find and follow the emergency sites on Facebook and Twitter in order to find out whether it was easier to them to get information that way. A written release about the scenario noted: "Essentially we're challenging the public to teach response groups what they need and want re: social media engagement in a very real sense and then put it all to work,"

It is difficult to find a silver lining around the nightmarish cloud that was the Haiti disaster in January, but if nothing else it left emergency responders with some important lessons learned, not the least of which was how useful social media as a communications tool during a disaster.




Countries Participate in Cyber Earthquake Drill | View Clip

09/28/2010

KPSP-TV - Online

When an earthquake strikes your first response may be to check Facebook or Twitter to check on loved ones.

That's why relief agencies and countries all over the world want to figure out how to use social networking sites to get information out to the public.

Exercise 24, was the first cyber earthquake drill - allowing relief agencies to figure out how to organize themselves to best utilize posting and tweeting during a major disaster.

Across the world, agencies reacted as if a 9.2 earthquake hit off the California coast resulting in a tsunami. The event was organized by San Diego State University.

On Twitter and Facebook groups posted evacuation orders and emergency updates. Posts encouraged readers to resend to get the information out to their friends.

Relief organizations like the Red Cross made sure their sites could handle heavy traffic. The US and Mexican Navy both participated.

The challenge, was making sure people are repeating verified information to avoid a cyber-rumor disaster because people tend to repeat what they see first.

"Sometimes, when you wait for news organizations to post information, it can take a little bit longer because they have to verify the information and everything else," said Gloria Margarita, Mass Communications instructor at College of the Desert.

News organizations like KPSP Local 2 use Twitter and Facebook to get first-hand reports from the scene of a disaster.




Social Networking through Disaster – Exercise24 | View Clip

09/28/2010

SYS-CON Media

A massive earthquake hits the California coast near Huntington Beach between San Diego and the Baja Peninsula. Of course it was not real, it was an exercise managed by San Diego State University's VisCenter and InRelief.Org called Exercise24. Exercise24 was planned as “an open, ‘no fault' environment for nations, organizations and the global community to explore collaborative technologies and develop solutions to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief challenges,” wrote George Bressler, SDSU adjunct faculty member and lead coordinator of X24.

The Role of Social Media in Disasters

Tweeting--We've looked at the use of Twitter and other social media tools in previous articles on fires in Santa Barbara, Haiti, Chile, and preparing for the non-event tsunami in Hawaii. As a tool, instant one-to-many and many-to-many real-time interactive messaging has tremendous value. Where broadcast media and law enforcement have shortfalls in the lag time between and event and notifications, instant messaging can give real-time, “as it is occurring” updates to a wide audience.

Exercise 24 (X24) was an attempt at gaining a greater understanding of how to more effectively use tools such as Twitter and Facebook during emergencies. Objectives included:

Objective One

Utilize the computing cloud to rapidly converge geographically dispersed global experts at the onset of a simulated international incident, deploy a foundation of guidance in concert with community leaders in a manner that empowers community members through education and smart technologies to support mitigation, response, recovery, and a resumption of societal normalcy at a level of functioning an order of magnitude higher than existed before.

Objective Two

Leverage smart phones, ultra-lights (United States), and unmanned air systems (Mexico) for rapid threat/damage assessment of a simulated seismic event that generates a significant oil spill off the coast of Southern California and Northern Baja California, as well as damage to critical infrastructure inland that necessitates mass sheltering of displaced community members.

Objective Three

Leverage the power of NGOs, faith-based groups, rapidly responding government and corporate groups, international groups, social networking communities as occurred in Haiti, and other resilient networks to locate and notionally send aid to Southern California and Baja California

Additional objectives included stressing connections and capacity of social networking sites and Twitter to determine network and capacity load limitations, as well as the ability to filter “noise” from valuable information if needed to ensure the delivery of information and requests for help could be both understood and managed.

Do you remember CNN and the other major news outlets carrying real-time interviews with citizen journalists via Skype immediately after the Chilean Earthquakes? A laptop computer with a camera and audio kit, and the world was getting on-the-scene reports from Conception as events unfolded – hours and days before news crews could get on the scene.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: “Indeed, we will have more breaking news coverage of this Chile earthquake, as you would expect. We are going to check on next what's happening on the Internet. We have social network sites busy talking about the disaster. We're going to of course bring you what they're saying.”

“We hope to ultimately ‘connect the dots' for data fusion and pattern recognition in homeland security and homeland defense” said Eric Frost, director of San Diego State's Immersive Visualization Center (VizLab).

The Future of Social Networking in Disasters

There are a few obvious problems we need to get through before twitter, or any other instant messaging service such as SMS, eMail, or other means of interactive and non-interactive messaging are completely suited to the task.

Messaging systems require access to network. Without 3G, LTE/4G, WiFi, or terrestrial Internet access the systems won't work.

Until every man, woman, child, and automated tripwire has access to a messaging-enabled wireless device, we will still have some shortfalls.

“Look how thoughtfully this training simulation has been designed. There are reasons why Californians survive their turbulent environment.” (from Wired Magazine review on X24)

Yes, this is true. The more prepared we are, the more effectively we can respond, and recovery from disasters. The more tools available, both intellectual and mechanical, the greater our chances of survival and recovery.

Keep your eyes on organizations such as InRelief.Org, and participate in upcoming disaster response exercises as able. Maybe trite, but in reality, the life you save might be your own or a loved one.




Fake Earthquake Disaster Drill Tests Facebook, Twitter | View Clip

09/27/2010

V1 Magazine

CNN - If your Facebook page or Twitter feed lit up Friday with news of a tsunami off the California coast, don't get too worried. At noon ET Friday, a drill was launched by natural disaster experts at San Diego State University to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis. Exercise 24 (X24) is being run by the university's Immersive Visualization Center. Read More




VIDEO: Disaster Training Goes High Tech | View Clip

09/27/2010

KSWB-TV

Exercise 24 tested how social media could help in responding to a natural disaster.




VIDEO: Social Media used for Disaster Warning | View Clip

09/27/2010

KSWB-TV

Exercise 24 tested how social media could help in responding to a natural disaster.




VIDEO: Social Media used for Disaster Training | View Clip

09/27/2010

10News at 5 PM - KGTV-TV

Exercise 24 at the Viz Lab looked at the role of social media in responding to natural disasters.




VIDEO: Disaster Training uses Social Media | View Clip

09/27/2010

XEWT-TV

Exercise 24, a two-day disaster response training exercise held at the Viz Lab, tested social media as a disaster response tool.




VIDEO: Disaster Training Exercise | View Clip

09/27/2010

KBNT-TV

Coordinated by the Viz Lab, Exercise 24 was a two-day disaster response training exercise.




Fake earthquake disaster drill tests Facebook, Twitter | View Clip

09/25/2010

Daily Caller, The

If your Facebook page or Twitter feed lights up with news of a tsunami off the California coast, don't get too worried.

At noon ET Friday, a drill was launched by natural disaster experts at San Diego State University to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis.

Exercise 24 (X24) is being run by the university's Immersive Visualization Center.

Participants from 15 countries, including the United States, organizations such as the United Nations and Red Cross, and other business, nonprofits and individuals will be involved.

The idea is to test the speed and widen the scope of responses to a major disaster, focusing on how social media sites like




Fake earthquake drill tests Facebook, Twitter | View Clip

09/25/2010

Financial News USA

If your Facebook page or Twitter feed lights up with news of a tsunami off the California coast, don't get too worried.Atnoon ET Friday, a drill was launched by natural disaster experts at San Diego State University to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis.

Participants from 15 countries, including the United States, organizations such as the United Nations and Red Cross, and other business, nonprofits and individuals will be involved.The idea is to test the speed and widen the scope of responses to a major disaster, focusing on how social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used."Ultimately, the goal is to get there faster, respond more effectively to save lives, communities, businesses, etc.," read a written release on the drill.Organizers said that all messages about the fictional disaster would be marked clearly as fake on the Web.Shortly after 12:30 p.m. [Read the full article]




Exercise 24 Uses Social Media in Disaster Exercise

09/25/2010

Good Morning San Diego at 5 AM - KUSI-TV

AN INTERNATIONAL EXERCISE IS UNDERWAY IN SAN DIEGO, TO TEST THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO NATURAL DISASTERS. IT'S CALLED "EXERCISE 24", TAKING PLACE AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY.




Exercise 24 Uses Social Media

09/25/2010

AM Live Saturday - KFSN-TV

HERE IN CALIFORNIA, NATURAL DISASTER EXPERTS AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY ARE PUTTING SOCIAL MEDIA TO THE TEST THIS WEEKEND. TODAY, ORGANIZERS ARE SENDING MESSAGES FROM A TWITTER ACCOUNT, ABOUT A MOCK EARTHQUAKE IN CALIFORNIA. THE DRILL ASKS PEOPLE TO FOLLOW CERTAIN SITES, THROUGH FACEBOOK AND TWITTER, TO TEST HOW EASILY THEY CAN GET INFORMATION. PEOPLE ARE ALSO BEING INVITED TO VIEW A SPECIAL WEBSITE TO SEE HOW MUCH TRAFFIC THE SITE CAN HANDLE. ONE PROFESSOR SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA SITES CAN HELP OFFICIALS DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE IN THE AFTERMATH OF A DISASTER. AND IF YOU HAVE A TWITTER ACCOUNT, YOU CAN FOLLOW ABC30 FOR NEWS ANYTIME. YOU CAN FIND A LINK TO OUR ACCOUNT ON OUR WEBSITE, ABC30 DOT COM. YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS AND TEXT MESSAGES, AND BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK. WE ALSO HAVE I-PHONE AND ANDROID APPS.




Exercise 24 Continues at San Diego State

09/25/2010

Good Morning San Diego at 5 AM - KUSI-TV

AN INTERNATIONAL EXERCISE IS UNDERWAY IN SAN DIEGO, TO TEST THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO NATURAL DISASTERS. IT'S CALLED "EXERCISE 24", TAKING PLACE AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY. THE EXERCISE SIMULATES AN EARTHQUAKE OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST WHICH WOULD GENERATE A TSUNAMI AND OTHER DISASTERS. THESE PICTURES GIVE US AN IDEA OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN. DOZENS OF LOCAL, STATE, FEDERAL AND INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES ARE COMING TOGETHER TO TEST HOW THEY WOULD RESPOND TO VARIOUS SITUATIONS. IT'S MEANT TO CREATE MORE EFFICIENT DISASTER RESPONSE METHODS. "WE'RE LEARNING HOW TO FIND PATTERNS, HOW TO CONNECT THE DOTS AND HOW TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE ARE ANY GAPS WITHIN SYSTEMS AND OUR GOAL IS TO FIX THAT AND HOW TO BRIDGE THOSE GAPS. " THE DISASTER-DRILL BEGAN YESTERDAY, AND RUNS THROUGH TODAY.




Exercise 24 Uses Social Media

09/25/2010

Eyewitness News 8 AM Saturday - KABC-TV

UNUSUAL EARTHQUAKE DRILL HELD TODAY EXERCISE 24 SHOWS HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WOULD OPERATE IN CASE OF OF AN EMERGENCY. ORGANIZERS AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY SENDING OUT TEXT MESSAGES, TO FACEBOOK TWITTER AND SKIEPZ HERE TO SEE HOW QUICKLY INFORMATION CAN GET TO PEOPLE IN AREAS. ORGANIZERS SAY MOST PEOPLE QUICKLY RESENT THE WARNINGS, WHICH WAS A GOOD SIGN BUT ALSO FOUND THAT SOME WERE QUICK TO JUMP ON WHICH COULD CREATE A PROBLEM IN THE EVENT OF A REAL DISASTER.




Social Media Used in Natural Disaster Drill

09/25/2010

New England Cable News

NATURAL DISASTER EXPERTS AT SAN DIEGO STATE ARE SHAKING UP THE SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD WITH EARTHQUAKE WARNING TESTS. THEY SENT FICTIONAL MESSAGES FROM A TWITTER ACCOUNT YESTERDAY PRETENDING THERE WAS A FAKE EARTHQUAKE IN CALIFORNIA. THE DRILL TESTS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SENDING MESSAGES OUT ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK. ORGANIZERS ALSO INVITE PEOPLE TO VIEW A DESIGNATED WEBSITE TESTING HOW MUCH TRAFFIC THE SITE CAN HANDLE AMIDST A DISASTER. A PROFESSOR SAYS THE SOCIAL MEDIA SITES CAN HELP DETERMINE HOW MUCH DAMAGE A DISASTER CAUSES. THE EVENT ENDS TODAY. VERMONT IS IN A MOCK STATE OF EMERGENCY THIS WEEKEND, HUNDREDS OF EMERGENCY PERSONNEL ARE TAKING PART IN AN EXTENDED CATASTROPHIC EXERCISE, TO SEE WHETHER THE STATE COULD HANDLE A MASSIVE NATURAL DISASTER.




Social Media Used in Natural Disaster Test

09/25/2010

News 14 Carolina - Charlotte Bureau

YOU'VE HEARD THE PHRASE, "THIS IS A TEST THIS IS ONLY A TEST. " WELL, NATURAL DISASTER EXPERTS AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY ARE PUTTING SOCIAL MEDIA TO THE TEST THIS WEEKEND. YESTERDAY -ORGANIZERS BEGAN SENDING FICTIONAL MESSAGES, FROM A TWITTER ACCOUNT, ABOUT A MOCK EARTHQUAKE IN CALIFORNIA. THE DRILL ASKS PEOPLE TO FOLLOW CERTAIN SITES, THROUGH FACEBOOK AND TWITTER, TO TEST HOW EASILY THEY CAN GET INFORMATION. ONE PROFESSOR SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA SITES CAN HELP OFFICIALS DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF PUSH.




Exercise 24 Uses Social Media

09/25/2010

KMBC Sat 6 pm - KMBC

THERE WAS A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI TODAY OFF CALIFORNIA'S COAST. OR AT LEAST THAT WAS THE WORD ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. IT WAS ALL PART OF AN ONLINE EMERGENCY DRILL. EXPERTS AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY WERE TESTING HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WOULD BE USED TO RESPOND TO A CRISIS. THE EXERCISE BEGAN YESTERDAY AND WRAPPED UP TODAY. .




9.2 Earthquake...Only a Test | View Clip

09/24/2010

KOGO-AM - Online

San Diego State is hosting a huge 2-day long earthquake drill focusing on the role social media would play if a devastating earthquake struck San Diego.

The drill was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. with a "tweet" reporting the quake. The message will include the words, "TEST" & "NOT REAL", to avoid panic.

The goal of the drill is to see how the public will respond to the text messages.

Twitter was widely used in the aftermath of the quake that killed more than 200,000 people this year in Haiti and during this summer's deadly floods in Pakistan.




Morning Report: Blood Work | View Clip

09/24/2010

Voice of San Diego

• Several years back, I watched local authorities put on a disaster drill, complete with mannequins playing victims of a biological attack. Halfway through, everybody took a break for a leisurely lunch. You know, just like in a real emergency.

Now there's another disaster drill on the horizon. San Diego State today is simulating the mother of all emergencies: "a large quake off Huntington Beach ruptures three offshore oil platforms, a tsunami washes over the San Onofre nuclear plant, and across Southern California, freeways rip asunder and buildings collapse," the OC Register says.

The general public can take part through Facebook and Twitter: "The bigger the jam-up, the better, organizers say; the idea is, in part, to test the capacity of social networking systems during a major emergency." Let's hope social networks don't take any long lunches. Or have a technical meltdown like Facebook did yesterday. Otherwise we'll have the the mother of all fail whales.




Fake earthquake disaster drill tests Facebook, Twitter | View Clip

09/24/2010

CNN.com

(CNN) -- If your Facebook page or Twitter feed lights up Friday with news of a tsunami off the California coast, don't get too worried.

Starting at noon ET, a drill is planned by natural disaster experts at San Diego State University to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis.

Exercise 24 (X24) is being run by the university's Immersive Visualization Center.

"X24 is an open, 'no fault' environment for nations, organizations and the global community to explore collaborative technologies and develop solutions to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief challenges," said George Bressler, the university's adjunct faculty member and lead coordinator of X24.

Social media has become a major player in disaster response in recent months, particularly during the Haiti earthquake and Gulf oil disaster.

During the recent wildfires in California, responders used sites such as Facebook and Twitter to track the fires and see what people were saying about them.

Friday's fictional scenario starts with a major earthquake off the coast of Huntington Beach, California, generating a tidal wave and an oil spill. A social-media aggregator program will be used to try to bring together all the information about it on social media sites.

Government and relief organizations will be involved. But the public is being asked to help, too.

People are being asked to visit the InRelief.org website starting at noon ET to see if the site can handle a huge amount of traffic. They are also being asked to find and follow specifically branded sites on Facebook and Twitter, to help see how easy it will be for people to get information that way.

"Essentially we're challenging the public to teach response groups what they need and want re: social media engagement in a very real sense and then to put it all to work," said a written release. "We'll develop and share the results in a report with everyone afterwards."

The drill will last through Saturday.




Fake quake tests Facebook, Twitter | View Clip

09/24/2010

sandiego.com

(CNN) -- If your Facebook page or Twitter feed lights up Friday with news of a tsunami off the California coast, don't get too worried.

Starting at noon ET, a drill is planned by natural disaster experts at San Diego State University to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis.

Exercise 24 (X24) is being run by the university's Immersive Visualization Center.

"X24 is an open, 'no fault' environment for nations, organizations and the global community to explore collaborative technologies and develop solutions to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief challenges," said George Bressler, the university's adjunct faculty member and lead coordinator of X24.

Social media has become a major player in disaster response in recent months, particularly during the Haiti earthquake and Gulf oil disaster.

During the recent wildfires in California, responders used sites such as Facebook and Twitter to track the fires and see what people were saying about them.

Friday's fictional scenario starts with a major earthquake off the coast of Huntington Beach, California, generating a tidal wave and an oil spill. A social-media aggregator program will be used to try to bring together all the information about it on social media sites.

Government and relief organizations will be involved. But the public is being asked to help, too.

People are being asked to visit the InRelief.org website starting at noon ET to see if the site can handle a huge amount of traffic. They are also being asked to find and follow specifically branded sites on Facebook and Twitter, to help see how easy it will be for people to get information that way.

"Essentially we're challenging the public to teach response groups what they need and want re: social media engagement in a very real sense and then to put it all to work," said a written release. "We'll develop and share the results in a report with everyone afterwards."

The drill will last through Saturday.

Read the full story at cnn.com




VIDEO: Event Focuses On Social Media During Disasters | View Clip

09/24/2010

KGTV-TV - Online

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State University is hosting a two-day open event for organizations from around the world to explore how to use technology to best help in disaster situations.

Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime, and most recently, after the 7.2 Easter earthquake occurred, many turned to social networking sites to express how they were doing.

Sites like Twitter and Facebook are not only connecting people for fun, but they are also helping to save lives. IBSYS.ad.AdManager.registerPosition(); "Its completely changed the game because now that is where the public voice is actually being heard," said Kelly McCrystal. McCrystal is a consultant for Buzz Manager, which oversees social media sites for various organizations.

During the start of the two-day event X24, an earthquake off the coast of California was simulated. On Friday, the organizations tested their communication tools and talked with people via computer and phone all over the world.

"One of the things were looking forward to seeing is how we can connect the dots if there [are] any gaps and identifying those gaps. This way, when there are other emergencies, we can be prepared," said Akshay Pottahil, Asia Projects Faculty and director of the SDSU Viz Center.

Organizers agreed networking tools will not replace traditional communication, but it is another way to reach out when every second counts.




AUDIO: Twitter And Facebook Can Save Lives During A Disaster | View Clip

09/24/2010

KPBS-TV - Online

The ability of social media to provide information during a disaster was put to a test Friday at San Diego StateUniversity.

Professors invited the military, statewide officials and civilians to take part in a mock earthquake that caused major damage from Oceanside to Tijuana. The theory is that individual messages can be captured, analyzed and used to help authorities and the public respond to a catastrophe.

Since the region's last major disaster -- the 2007 wildfires -- the popularity of social media has exploded. Twitter was just starting and is now approaching 200 million users worldwide. Facebook had one-tenth the users it has today.

Major earthquakes that shook Chile and Haiti showed the power of social media to report on conditions and quickly disseminate the information.

SDSU professor Eric Frost says social media sites can help officials determine the extent of the damage.

“They have tools like Facebook, Twitter, where they can connect to each other and say ‘I'm OK. I'm here. This is what's taking place. Here's the fire',” Frost said. “We can put that together in a massive computing cloud and deliver that up to decision makers.”

Twenty-four nations are participating in the drill, which runs through Saturday. Professors hope their findings will convince authorities to incorporate social media into their disaster response plans.




Fake Tsunami Hits California: A Test for Social Media Sites | View Clip

09/24/2010

Associated Content

The National Disaster Experts at San Diego State University announced on Friday a fake Tsunami. They were testing the capabilities of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook . The test was to see how fast acting and reliable the information post on the sites would be. On Friday the citizens of California experience a tsunami like none other.

15 countries across the world were involved in it, organization such as the United Nations and Red Cross, as well as non-profit and other businesses were involved in the event.

The purpose was to test the response rate of social media sites during disastrous situations.

The masterminds behind the fake tsunami would send out messages about the incident and informing people that the tsunami was a fake. The organizers would send out a fictional entry in and then observe the response rate.

Over the past months social media sites have provided a useful tool during disasters, particularly in the Haiti Earthquake and the oil spill in the Gulf. This test will allow observers to see and test the response rate of people and their messages. To fully understand to power of social media websites, the test will allow EMS personnel to have quicker response in areas of need. The effectiveness of the site will give information and keep up to date about areas that are in need of help that don't have emergency services.




Reality Check: September 24, 2010 | View Clip

09/24/2010

Hotnewz.TV

Here's a look at today's top stories…

Conspiracy Theory Offensive

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sure knows how to clear a room. Delegates from the U.S., Spain, Australia, Britain, Sweden, Uruguay and Belgium walked out of the UN General Assembly when Ahmadinejad suggested that the U.S. orchestrated the terrorist attacks on 9/11. President Obama slammed Ahmadinejad calling his remarks offensive and hateful.

Fake Disaster

You may want to disregard any news of a natural disaster on your Facebook or Twitter feed today. San Diego StateUniversity is testing how social media can be used to alert people in case of disaster. Exercise 24 as it is called will put out a distress signal about an earthquake, a tidal wave and an oil spill off the cost of California.

Bank Hostages Freed

A hostage situation at a Bank of America across the street from the University of Miami has come to an end. The ordeal began last night when a teller and his father, who is an executive at the branch, were kidnapped in the suspects' effort to gain access to the bank. Police say the bank has been cleared and the hostages are out.

That's One Big Game

Students at UC Irvine can add “world record holder” to their resumes. 1,725 students showed up to play the world's largest game of dodgeball. The previous record of 1,198 players was set by the University of Alberta-Canada.




VIDEO: Earthquake Drill Tests Social Media | View Clip

09/24/2010

Fox 5 Morning News - KSWB-TV

YOU MAY GET SOME UNUSUAL MESSAGES TODAY IF YOU LOG ON TO FACEBOOK OR TWITTER. SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY IS HOSTING A TWO-DAY EARTHQUAKE DRILL MEANT TO TEST THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL MEDIA. IT'S CALLED EXERCISE 24, OR X24. SO THE DRILL STARTS AT 9 AM THIS MORNING. SO IF YOU SEE MESSAGES TODAY SAYING THE CORONADO BRIDGE SNAPPED IN HALF OR SCRIPPS HOSPITAL COLLAPSED, REMEMBER THIS IS ALL JUST A TEST. TO LEARN MORE AND READ WHAT THE FIRST FULL TWITTER MESSAGE WILL SAY, GO TO OUR WEBSITE, FOX5SANDIEGO. COM.




Earthquake Drill Hosted by San Diego State University

09/24/2010

San Diego 6 News at 5 AM - San Diego 6 The CW (XETV-TV)

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY IS HOLDING A DISASTER DRILL TODAY. THEY WILL PRACTICE RESPONDING TO A LARGE SCALE EARTHQUAKE ON CAMPUS. SEVERAL RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS, ALONG WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND THE COMMUNITY WILL COME TOGETHER TO EXPLORE DISASTER RESPONSE METHODS AND DEVELOP SOLUTIONS. NEW RESPONSE MECHANISMS WILL BE TESTED, INCLUDING TSUNAMI WARNING BUOYS OFF THE COAST OF MEXICO, AS WELL AS THE ROLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYS IN RESPONDING TO A DISASTER. AS PART OF THE EXERCISE, FAKE EMERGENCY MESSAGES WILL BE GOING OUT ON TWITTER. IF YOU RECEIVE ONE OF THESE TWEETS, REMEMBER THIS IS ONLY A DRILL




Earthquake Drill at San Diego State

09/24/2010

Good Morning San Diego at 5 AM - KUSI-TV

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY IS HOSTING A HUGE TWO-DAY EXPERIMENT THAT'S MEANT TO EXPLORE HOW EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE IN SPREADING INFORMATION DURING A CATASTROPHE. THE PROJECT BEGINS THIS MORNING WHEN A TEST MESSAGE WILL GO OUT ON TWITTER REPORTING THAT A 9-POINT-2 HAS HIT SAN DIEGO. SO IF YOU RECEIVE TWEETS THAT THE CORONADO BRIDGE HAS BROKEN IN HALF, OR SKYSCRAPERS HAVE COLLAPSED, DON'T BE ALARMED, IT'S JUST A TEST. THE DRILL IS ALSO MEANT TO GIVE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AND RELIEF AGENCIES PRACTICE IN COMING UP WITH WAYS TO REACT TO DISASTERS.




Exercise 24 to Simulate Earthquake

09/24/2010

Q13 Fox Morning News - KCPQ-TV

LOOKING TO SHAKE THINGS UP THIS MORNING. YOU COULD TAKE PART IN A BIG EARTHQUAKE TEST. SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY IS STAGING AN EARTHQUAKE STIMULATION CALLED EXERCISE 24. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO LOG ON TO FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AS IF THEY WERE SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT A REAL QUAKE. USING FACEBOOK ON YOUR CELL PHONE CAN BECOME EASIER THAN EVER BEFORE.




VIDEO: Exercise to Simulate Earthquake | View Clip

09/24/2010

NBC 7/39 News at 4 PM - KNSD-TV

SOME SCARY TWEETS AND FACEBOOK POSTINGS TODAY, ALL PART OF AN UNUSUAL DRILL. SAN DIEGO STATE IS HOSTING A TWO-DAY EXERCISE EXPLORING HOW SOCIAL MEDIA SITES CAN SPREAD NEWS DURING A DISASTER. THE DRILL BEGAN WITH A TEXT MESSAGE ABOUT A 9.2 EARTHQUAKE. ANOTHER TEXT MESSAGE SAID A TSUNAMI HAD SWAMPED NORTH ISLAND. THE GOAL IS TO SHARE DISASTER INFORMATION WITH AUTHORITIES MORE QUICKLY USING WEBSITES THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE ON EVERY DAY. AND THEY HAVE TOOLS LIKE FACEBOOK, TWITTER, WHERE THEY CAN CONNECT TO EACH OTHER AND SAY I'M OKAY, I'M HERE, THIS IS WHAT'S TAKING PLACE, HERE'S THE FIRE. NOW, TWITTER WAS WIDELY USED IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE DEVASTATING QUAKE IN HAITI EARLIER THIS YEAR. AS PART OF THE TWO-DAY DRILL PEOPLE WILL BE DIRECTED TO A WEBSITE THAT INCLUDES ALL MESSAGES ALONG WITH PICTURES OF THE MOCK, AND WE STRESS IT WAS JUST A MOCK DISASTER.




VIDEO: Emergency Response Uses Social Media | View Clip

09/24/2010

10News at 7 PM - KGTV-TV

SAN DIEGO STATE HELD A HUGE DISASTER TRAINING DRILL TODAY, ALL TO REGURE OUT HOW TO BEST USE NEW TECHNOLOGY. 10NEWS REPORTER MELISSA MECIJA SHOWS US HOW COMMUNICATION TOOLS, ARE NOW BEING TESTED FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE. DISASTERS CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE-ANYTIMEA MOST RECENTLY-AFTER THE 7-POINT2- EASTER QUAKE HIT OUR AREAA MANY TURNED TO SOCIAL MEDIA TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT. SITES LIKE TWITTER-AND FACEBOOK-ARE NOW, NOT ONLY CONNECTING PEOPLE FOR FUNA IT'S BECOMING A TOOL TO HELP SAVE LIVES, > > IT HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED THE GAME BECAUSE THAT IS NOW HOW THE PUBLIC GETS INFORMATION.




VIDEO: Social Media Tested in Emergency Exercise | View Clip

09/24/2010

KUSI News at 6 PM - KUSI-TV

AN INTERNATIONAL EXERCISE IS UNDERWAY IN SAN DIEGO, TESTING THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO NATURAL DISASTERS. IT'S CALLED "EXERCISE 24", TAKING PLACE AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY. THE EXERCISE SIMULATES AN EARTHQUAKE, OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST WHICH WOULD GENERATE A TSUNAMI AND OTHER DISASTERS. THESE PICTURES GIVE US AN IDEA OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN. DOZENS OF LOCAL, STATE, FEDERAL, AND INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES ARE COMING TOGETHER TO TEST HOW THEY WOULD RESPOND TO VARIOUS SITUATIONS. IT'S MEANT TO CREATE MORE EFFICIENT DISASTER RESPONSE METHODS. "WE'RE LEARNING HOW TO FIND PATTERNS, HOW TO CONNECT THE DOTS AND HOW TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE ARE ANY GAPS WITHIN SYSTEMS AND OUR GOAL IS TO FIX THAT AND HOW TO BRIDGE THOSE GAPS. " THE DISASTER-DRILL WILL CONTINUE TOMORROW. WE ALSO WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR OWN PLANS, AND BE PREPARED IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY.




Blog: Earthquake Drill Test on Facebook, Twitter | View Clip

09/24/2010

Carrie Fox's Blog

San Diego State University planned a natural disaster drill today to see how social media would be used to respond to a crisis. Not only are government and relief organizations involved, but they want the public's involvement too. We are asked to go to InRelief to see if the website can handle a large amount of traffic. I think that this is fascinating and really practical. With the staggering amount of people on Facebook and Twitter, it is the easiest way to reach the masses and watch the word spread. If you are reluctant to get a Twitter, this is a perfect example of how the news has adapted to using social media. I suggest that you set up a Twitter to at least follow major news networks, local news networks, and maybe some of your favorite companies for special promotions.




VIDEO: Social Media Used to Test Emergency Response | View Clip

09/24/2010

San Diego 6 News at 10 PM - San Diego 6 The CW (XETV-TV)

A TWEET COULD R LIFE. IN A DISASTER DRILL LIKE NONE OTHER, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ARE REACTING TO MOCK EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS, AND OIL SPILLS VIA THE INTERNET. LYNN STUART TAKES US TO THE "CONTROL CENTER" HERE IN SAN DIEGO FOR AN INSIDERS LOOK. AN EARTHQUAKE HITS HALF A WORLD AWAY- A TSUNAMI IS IMMINENT ON SAN DIEGO'S COAST LINE. "we have the latest coverage showing the destroyed homes the broken bridges the downed power line." IT'S ALL PART OF A TWO DAY DRILL AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY. THEY'RE EXAMINING HOW DECISION MAKERS FROM ABOUT TWO DOZEN COUNTRIES DEAL WITH EMERGENCIES.

"the social networking is incredibly powerful." ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE TOOLS IN A DISASTER IS INFORMATION - FOR THE FIRST TIME THEY ARE TESTING OUT IF SITES LIKE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ARE EFFECTIVE WAYS TO HELP PEOPLE RESPOND IN A DISASTER. "that's an infrastructure that could save lives." SMALL AIRCRAFT ARE LAUNCHED ABLE TO GIVE REAL TIME VIDEO OVER THE INTERNET AS THE EMERGENCY PLAYS OUT. "it's a way of getting more eyes in the sky.they are also testing out how you can make a difference in a disaster they are looking at different social networking sites so people can be eye witnesses to let them know where the damage is the worst. the more we can empower people to be the solution that's the point of this and social networks connect us in ways they never did before." ONE CHALLENGE HOW TO DEAL WITH INFORMATION OVERLOAD. "we have to do something and this massive amount information that is coming in we're putting into computers, we're building things, and then we're trying to send it out and we're trying to figure it out the gas what doesn't work.




Take part in big quake test on Twitter | View Clip

09/23/2010

Orange County Register - Online

It?s part of an earthquake simulation by called Exercise 24 that is meant to test a variety of public agencies, their warning systems and a relatively new player in the world of disaster-relief: social media.

The public in invited to take part in the simulation by logging into Facebook and Twitter and sending messages as if seeking information about the quake.

Be sure to include in any message that it is a test ? lest anyone think it was a real disaster, said Akshay Pottathil, director of the Adaptive Spatial Information Analysis lab at San Diego State.

"There will be events that are "not planned, based on things we discover," Pottathil said. "There could be other surprises that come into the picture." The bigger the jam-up, the better, organizers say; the idea is, in part, to test the capacity of social networking systems during a major emergency. "The general idea is a complex emergency where there's a bunch of different things going on at the same time," said Eric Frost, director of San Diego State's , who was immersed in planning the two-day event Thursday.

The simulation begins about 9 a.m. Friday, kicking off with a big quake that triggers a variety of other earthquakes - including the large quake off Huntington Beach.

The resulting tsunami swamps the coastline, flooding places like Huntington Beach and inundating the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Buildings, bridges and roadways throughout Orange and San Diego counties are reduced to rubble.

Meanwhile, oil from the ruptured platforms oozes south, contaminating beaches in San Diego County and in Mexico.

Taking part in the exercise will be the Red Cross, the U.S. and Mexican navies and the United Nations.

Warning systems will be tested - some for the first time, including tsunami-warning buoys off the Mexican coast. "That's a major part of this - getting different organizations together, " Frost said. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.




Nightmarish earthquake drill set for San Diego | View Clip

09/23/2010

San Diego Union-Tribune - Online

San Diego State University created this illustration of a mock 17-foot tsunami surge thrusting the carrier Midway into a building in downtown San Diego.

If you see a message on Twitter or Facebook Friday that says that the Coronado Bridge has broken in half or that Scripps Hospital has collapsed, don't believe it.

It's a test. Just a test.

San Diego State University is hosting a huge two-day earthquake drill that's meant to explore how effective social media can be in spreading news and information about a catastrophe.

Twitter was widely used in the aftermath of the quake that killed more than 200,000 people this year in Haiti and during this summer's deadly floods in Pakistan. Emergency planners and relief agencies wanted a closer look at how such messaging works, leading to Exercise 24, or “X24,” a drill that involves mock quakes, tsunamis, oil spills and fires.

The drill begins at 9 a.m. Friday when a test message goes out on Twitter reporting that a 9.2 earthquake has occurred. The specific message, or “tweet,” reads:

“#X24 is a TEST:not real. 9.2 earthquake hit Southern California. This is a DRILL. To participate or 4 more info go tohttp://bit.ly/exer24”.

That announcement will be followed by dozens of additional test messages that report on disastrous consequences, ranging from a tsunami that swamps San Diego's North Island to shaking that breaks the commuter rail line in northern Encinitas.

SDSU and its partners also will direct the public to inrelief.org, a website the U.S. Navy operates to share humanitarian and relief news about disasters. The site will include all messages, and some stark images, including an illustration of the USS Midway washed into a building by a tsunami.

The goal is to see if the public will use the site as a clearinghouse, and how the public will respond online to the test messages.

With social media, “You get a lot of citizens who become your eyes on an event,” said Eric Frost, director of SDSU's Immersive Visualization Center, or VizLab. “You get people reporting on not only things like a fire but a traffic accident or whether Mrs. Smith is still at the convalescent home. People come to take care of their own community rather than expecting government to do all of it. This is citizen journalism.”

X24 also is meant to give emergency responders and relief agencies practice in coming up with ways to react to catastrophes. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the California Department of Public Health are expected to monitor inrelief.org to look for updates on the mock disasters, then plot solutions.

They'll be dealing with a horrific scenario.

The drill begins with a 9.2 quake that begins in the Aleutian Islands and creates a huge tsunami that hits Southern California five hours later. The first Twitter message doesn't correctly report the epicenter, which is not unusual in a big quake.

The event, which is being called the “Trigger Quake,” also produces a 7.2 quake nine miles off Huntington Beach that ruptures offshore oil wells, sending crude south to San Diego. Then there's a 7.5 quake on the southern San Andreas fault, and a 7.2 quake in the Imperial Valley. A variety of the drill's participants will post test messages on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word to the public.

It is highly unlikely that a 9.2 quake would trigger a series of big shakers in Southern California. Instead, planners wanted to give responders a lot to deal with.

“The bottom line is we're trying to test the challenge of sharing information among diverse organizations,” said Capt. Douglas Wied of Navy Region Southwest, who helps manage inrelief.org.

The messages the public posts on Twitter and Facebook will be monitored by Buzz Manager, a North Carolina company that usually helps clients like the National Football League and Bridgestone Corp. see what people are saying about them.

“The disaster relief community has not responded adequately to social media,” said Kathleen Hessert, president of Buzz Manager. “They must be ready, willing and able to factor what's being said online into their decision making, and to engage people.”




Quest Means Business: Exercise 24

09/23/2010

CNN International London

FOSTER Welcome back. I'm Max Foster in London. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. But first here are the main news headlines.

(NEWSBREAK)Now, social networkers are reacting to a major virtual natural disaster in California. A few hours ago, a phony quake struck California a part of a drill called X24. They were a test of how social media could be used to respond to disasters. The public are being asked to visit various sites to see how easily relief information spreads through social networks.

Here are some of the Tweets the organizations -- organiza -- organizers, rather -- have put out so far. To avoid real panic, they all preceded by, X24 is a test, not real.

Now, this week reads TV said large wave headed toward coastline. Everyone get out.

Here's another Cali offshore oil well reporting rapid loss of pressure. Does this mean another oil spill?

Well, Akshay Pottathil works at San Diego State University in Southern California.

He's director of the Vis Lab's adaptive spatial information analysis project, which is conducting the drill.

He joins us from San Diego now.

Thank you so much for doing this.

What have you learned so far from this process, because it's got great potential, but it's also got some -- some worries associated with it?

AKSHAY POTTATHIL, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY Absolutely. It's a very real thing, especially in Southern California, where we have quite a bit of earthquakes.

We are looking into this in multiple ways. One of the things that we want to see is where there a failure to connect the dots. You know, there is two dots, where do we make -- you know, where do we miss to connect it?

We want to identify that particular point.

The second thing we're looking for is more on the agency level. We're trying to figure out where the gaps are and when there are gaps, we want to be able to bridge those gaps.

These are two points that we're actively trying to -- and the exercise is right now happening. It's live and we're in the midst -- we're still getting data. We're still trying to figure it out. We're putting out social and metric networking as a key part of this. We're using social media -- Twitter, Quotes Manager. They're all working together to get out -- get this information out there, to see where the links are, how it's being dispersed and distributed.

FOSTER The great difficulty is that you can't have a way to rely on what the information you get from social media. This is not always checked out.

So how do you -- do people tell the difference between the legitimate Tweets and messages from the ones that aren't malicious, but aren't well founded?

POTTATHIL Absolutely, that's one of the purposes of this exercise, as well. You know, one of the -- we are looking to see where that comes in. You know, who is delivering those (INAUDIBLE). And the fact that we have local, state, federal and also international collaboration, there -- there is a check and balance that comes in where we're picking this up or someone is getting up in one car going, hey, you know, this is happening and we don't know about it and they're responding back. They're Tweeting back or they're getting this message sent back to them, saying, well, this is not correct.

So there is a check and balance that happens just because everybody has collaborated. And this collaboration is really what is being tested.

FOSTER Yes, but is -- aren't you also running a risk here, because if all the information is out there, then it could be scaring people unnecessarily?

You need to be very careful about the information that goes out, so people aren't over duly worried.

So what are you -- what are you trying to ascertain from this exercise in terms of that?

POTTATHIL We want -- we want to know where -- where those gaps are?

You know, if there are people getting alarmed in a particular reason, why did they not know about it and who was responsible for informing them?

And we want to figure that particular gap out and try to fill it in case we have an emergency in the future.




Defentect To Demonstrate DefenCall at Global Disaster Event, Exercise 24 | View Clip

09/23/2010

PR Newswire - Online

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Defentect Group, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: DFTC), a developer and provider of immediate intelligent messaging applications and services, announced today that the Company will participate in Exercise24 ("X24") on September 24 & 25. X24 is a collaborative disaster-training event facilitated by San Diego State University's Homeland Security Master's Program and its Immersive Visualization Center ("Viz Center"). Many of the components of X24 will be highlighted on the Google Apps and Sites partnership of the Viz Center and the US Navy at InRelief.org (http://www.inrelief.org), which was a significant aid in disasters like Haiti, the Mexicali earthquake, and the Gulf oil spill.

X24 will focus on testing advanced technologies with the goal of improving the ability and velocity of communications between military and civilian organizations during a disaster. The exercise will play out through a multitude of scenarios including a tsunamigenic event, oil spills and severe property destruction resulting from several massive earthquakes in California. Participants will use the showcased technologies to test reporting effectiveness and measure the life saving abilities each technology provides.

Defentect has a long-standing relationship with the Viz Center and will be taking part in the event by providing participants, including government, state and commercial organizations, with its robust and innovative smartphone application, DefenCall. The application will be used to communicate information in real time from participants to the field commanders and the X24 command center.

DefenCall is available to smartphone users who wish to enhance their personal security and safety. A touch of the alert button will immediately communicate a user's GPS location and other pertinent information to those who can be of immediate assistance. The use of DefenCall during X24 will demonstrate the versatility of Defentect's technology and allow many different organizations to experience DefenCall's ability to communicate critical and timely personal emergency and disaster information.

"We are proud to support InRelief.org and the X24 event," commented Jeff Knapp, President and COO of Defentect Group. "We are constantly seeking new ways to employ our technology, and are honored with the opportunity to provide our application to X24 participants. This is an exceptional opportunity to demonstrate DefenCall as an effective and versatile application that can be used to enhance safety and security significantly in many situations."

Prof. Eric Frost, Founder and Director of the SDSU Viz Center, and Co-Director of the Homeland Security Master's Degree Program (with Jeff McIllwain) stated, "X24 is trying to assist our nation and many other nations in disaster response with the cleverness and affordability of these new technologies as they enable decision makers to have massive input from the public to help bring solutions to the community in times of extreme need."




VIDEO: Earthquake Drill will Explore Effectiveness of Social Media | View Clip

09/23/2010

10News Midday - KGTV-TV

San Diego State University is hosting a two-day open event for organizations from around the world to explore how to use technology to best help in disaster situations.

Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime, and most recently, after the 7.2 Easter earthquake occurred, many turned to social networking sites to express how they were doing.

Sites like Twitter and Facebook are not only connecting people for fun, but they are also helping to save lives.

"It's completely changed the game because now that is where the public voice is actually being heard," said Kelly McCrystal. McCrystal is a consultant for Buzz Manager, which oversees social media sites for various organizations.

During the start of the two-day event X24, an earthquake off the coast of California was simulated. On Friday, the organizations tested their communication tools and talked with people via computer and phone all over the world.

"One of the things we're looking forward to seeing is how we can connect the dots if there [are] any gaps and identifying those gaps. This way, when there are other emergencies, we can … be prepared," said Akshay Pottahil, Asia Projects Faculty and director of the SDSU Viz Center.

Organizers agreed networking tools will not replace traditional communication, but it is another way to reach out when every second counts.




Earthquake Drill to use Social Media

09/23/2010

NBC 7/39 News at 11 PM - KNSD-TV

FACEBOOK AND TWITTER WILL BE BUZZING ABOUT AN EARTHQUAKE TOMORROW, BUT REST ASSURED IT IS JUST A DRILL. SAN DIEGO STATE IS HOSTING A HUGE TWO-DAY DRILL SO EMERGENCY PLANNERS CAN GET A BETTER LOOK AT HOW NEWS AND INFORMATION IS SPREAD DURING A CATASTROPHE. THE GOAL OF THE DRILL IS TO TEST THE PUBLIC'S RESPONSE. THE DRILL BEGINS AT 9 00 TOMORROW MORNING.




Cyberquake Expected in California This Week | View Clip

09/20/2010

Internet Evolution

On September 24, a "cyberquake" off the coast of Huntington Beach, Calif., will generate tsunamigenic forces and an oil spill that endangers fisheries, wetlands, and coastal regions in southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico.

It will destroy the All American Canal.

Aftershocks will displace a large number of people who will need shelter and medical care. Several major freeway interchanges will be damaged and impassable. Water, sewage, and drainage systems will be damaged. Disease will break out in the shelters.

You will be able to follow it all on Twitter or on the site of Exercise 24 (X24), an international collaboration and multidisciplinary test of low-cost and public technologies for communication, logistics coordination, and response that will play out on September 24 and 25.

This will be an exercise and not an actual event -- and announcements about the mock event will carry that disclaimer, trying to prevent a modern-day “War of the Worlds” panic.

The project will generate maps, models, and timelines and plans for using technologies and the Internet to respond to real disasters in the future. On September 27, participants and observers will have a "hotwash," in which they will identify best practices and the problems spotted during the mock disaster. These will be rolled into an after-action report that will guide more exercises and real-event responses.

A cyber security component of X24 will explore threats to online aid and disaster relief collaborations so that future efforts can be hardened against attack.

The event is being organized by InRelief.org. According to its Website, InRelief tries "to increase the velocity of the response during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief events by connecting military/civilian organizations, disseminating data freely over the internet, and providing the collaborative tools to expedite the sharing of critical information."

More than 50 organizations are collaborating on the event, including the US Department of Homeland Security and San Diego State University's Viz Center, which tracks crises with a lab that allows display and analysis of data on eight display screens in a U-shaped command-and-control setting.

Other collaborators include government agencies in the United States and Mexico, technology companies, and disaster-relief organizations. Work is being done in both English and Spanish.

X24 has three objectives:

1. To use a computing cloud to assimilate dispersed experts and community members to respond to the unfolding crises.

2. To use smart phones and ultra-light and remotely piloted aircraft to assess damage and threats. The aircraft will be used to observe and map areas and then transmit data so that it can be pieced together to complete a bigger picture.

3. To leverage the resources of diverse organizations, including governmental, non-governmental, faith-based, corporate, international, and social networking groups, as occurred after earthquakes in Haiti and Mexicali and during the Gulf oil spill.

People are encouraged to observe the exercise or to share their thoughts and resources with others, but they must register online to do so at X24's site.

The virtual disaster will unfold on the Exercise24 Twitter feed, which can be followed without registration, and by using or following hash tag #X24.




Disaster response, one tweet at a time | View Clip

09/19/2010

Charlotte Observer - Online

In the social networking world, Kathleen Hessert is perhaps best known as the Charlotte-based media consultant who taught Shaquille O'Neal how to tweet.

She must like hefty projects. Her latest: help teach the U.S. Navy, the Red Cross and the United Nations how social networking channels might help them save lives during natural disasters.

Her social media analytics firm, Buzz Manager, is participating Friday and Saturday in Exercise24, an international disaster preparedness training exercise that simulates what might happen if an earthquake struck the California coast, triggering an oil spill and tsunami.

Buzz Manager, which can track tweets and Facebook posts about a specific subject, will direct mock calls for help and citizen comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to the appropriate organizations.

To avoid confusion, Hessert said, Twitter has agreed to put out an advance message to alert social network users that any apocalyptic-sounding tweets are part of a test, not a real disaster. Each tweet will include the words "Test. Not real," and will include links to Web sites where people can learn more.

She said it only makes sense to test how new communications channels like social networks and cloud computing would work during a disaster. The recent earthquake in Haiti and other emergencies show the general public is already turning to them to send calls for help or share information.

"They can communicate quickly through these means, and they expect that the authorities are listening and will take appropriate action," Hessert said.

But that may not always be the case. Last week, about 80 people from around the country came to Charlotte for a conference designed to teach emergency first responders how to use social media. Mark Basnight, the Charlotte Fire Department official who organized the conference, said many public safety agencies are slow to adopt social networks.

Officials from Buzz Manager attended. Hessert said police, fire and other emergency response agencies often aren't sure they can trust text messages, tweets or Facebook posts to deliver accurate messages in life-or-death situations.

Why bother, some ask. They've got 911 for emergency communications.

Exercise24, which is being coordinated by San Diego State University, hopes to figure out how to best add Web 2.0 to the communications mix.

Eric Frost, director of the university's Visualization Lab, which studies disasters and responses to them, said the one thing first responders always want during emergencies is real-time information. Half of Facebook's 500 million members log on during any given day, he noted, putting a potential gold mine of possible tipsters and information at authorities' fingertips.

Part of the goal of the exercise is to determine how much information their systems could handle from social networks without breaking under the load.

"There's no disaster tool in the world, no government tool in the world, that has that kind of capability," Frost said.

The exercise will use not only Facebook and Twitter, but also cloud computing, Ustream TV and Skype to funnel information about the mock earthquake to the right people.



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