In this third and final post in this series on social convergence in the EOC/ICP, I'll address the benefits for the logistics and fin/admin people.
I first looked at Command (June 9) and then for Ops and Planning (June 24). I also wrote a guest blog post for Geofeedia on the role of social convergence (with a focus on social monitoring) for situational awareness and the efficient allocation of strategic resources.
For logistics, as well as any other part of the disaster response/management enterprise, social convergence (mobile tech + social networks) offers one key thing: speed. The ability to grasp in almost real-time what the needs of the populations impacted by an emergency might be.
This might start in the EOC itself with simple geo-fenced monitoring, coupled with hashtag searches for such things as #help, #supplies ... all linked with the incident-specific #. You can quickly match needs and offers of assistance.
Here's examples, I just came across:
WenatcheeworldJul 18, 7:03pm via InstagramWant to volunteer or donate to the #NCW Fire Victims in #Pateros or other communities? We have an…instagram.com/p/qnDGaADkfm/
#WAwildfire victims need some help in #Brewster and#Pateros near the #CarltonComplex fire. Local businesses are... fb.me/3w9iUPZLL
One of the most illustrative examples I saw followed the devastating tornado that hit Henryville in Indiana in 2012. Almost immediately, calls for help, and offers for assistance, emerged on Twitter. Local official made the best use of this.
Here's what it could have looked like in their EOC's logistics section:
A simple two-column dashboard on Tweetdeck (one of my favourite monitoring tools) showing #henryville and #help on one side, and #henryvilleneed on the other. Are you ready for this kind of direct, almost immediate flood of requests and offers of assistance?
It's exactly this kind of problem (in my opinion, opportunity really ...) that the O'Neill sisters (Caitria and Morgan) solved by making the most of social convergence and creating Recovers.org. To quote an article from the Huffington Post:
The site works by linking volunteers with where they're needed in specific communities, offering up-to-the-minute social media updates on relief programs, and databasing even the most random donation items so they're easier to disperse exactly where they're needed.