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January Virtual Town Hall Explores Public Safety Use of Social Media during Disasters

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) will hold an online “town hall” meeting to discuss the changing use of social media by public safety agencies during disaster events.

The town hall is open to all responders and their agencies. No registration is required.


Date & Time: Jan. 24 at 12:00 ET
Dial-in: 510-227-1018
Conference ID: 869 9040#
Screen Share: https://join.me/npstcsupport1

Many emergency response agencies use Facebook and Twitter to notify the public of important information. However, some also have begun gathering "crowd sourced" information from social media platforms to enhance their situational awareness and directly respond to requests for assistance. Although social media is proving to be a rich source of crucial data, the tasks of managing, analyzing and verifying that data can be overwhelming.

The 90-minute town hall will feature a panel of public safety practitioners who have found social media invaluable when responding to disasters ranging from hurricanes and floods to wildland fires and mass shootings, and have important lessons to share about managing and using this important resource. Time is allotted for an audience question-and-answer session.

The panelists include:

  • Alan Harris, Emergency Manager, Seminole County FL and Mark Economou, Public Information Manager Boca Raton Police Department on Hurricane Irma
  • Michelle Guido, Public Information Officer, Orlando Police Department on the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
  • Michael Walter, Public Information Officer, City of Houston Emergency Management on Hurricane Harvey
  • Daron Wyatt, Public Information Officer, Anaheim, CA Police Department on the California Wildland Fires

NPSTC is a DHS S&T-sponsored council that includes representatives from public safety organizations and state, local, and federal agencies. Its mission is to provide the collaborative leadership needed to improve public safety communications and interoperability.

Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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