wagon-wheelIt’s interesting watching savvy municipal employees of all stripes shift from viewing social media as another means of talking to the public, to viewing it as a new way to communicate with the public (two-way communication vs one-way bullhorn).

The change is forcing professionals to view themselves as a node in the network of information, rather than the hub. Scary, sure (what if people say mean things? spread misinformation?), but it unlocks options that no agency or individual ever had before.

Earlier this month EmergencyManagement.com quoted Los Ranchos de Albuquerque’s Emergency Management Coordinator:

“I have trusted agents all over the state who I can ask to work with me directly when I am working on emergency response issues. They can have my back, watch for issues and trends, hit me up on the social media platforms to pass along road conditions, how much snow has fallen, what the wind speeds are.” [Emphasis added]

(The rest of the article is worth a read. Check it out here.)

How great is it to see more and more people starting to think like Craig Fugate (head of FEMA) who’s been arguing for ages that we need to stop viewing people in hazards as victims, and start thinking of them as resources?

Just because none of us is at the center of everything anymore doesn’t mean we’re not all important. There are challenges enough to go around. Especially during emergencies.

Image: Archer10 on Flickr.

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