Igloo on line community for Haiti earthquake response.
For the past week I have been participating in the Crisis Kitchen, an on line community set up to support response to the Haiti earthquake. The Crisis Kitchen has been set up with the support of Igloo Software from Kitchener, is coordinated by Hal Newman the Founder and Managing Partner of TEMS [social media for emergency management] and currently has just over 100 emergency management personnel and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds participating.
On line communities such as the Crisis Kitchen can be a valuable resource for those responsible for emergency management and business continuity programs and even to support response to a specific emergency. The Crisis Kitchen basically provides a password protected central (web) meeting place where participants can view various up to date media streams and information sources about the Haiti earthquake and response. It provides various ways for participants to add to the pool of information about the incident and the response, identify specific needs and record suggestions on options to meet those needs. The system provides profiles on all participants and provision for participants to be notified by e-mail about any discussion group in which they have particular interest.
The system is being fine tuned as it is being used to adapt it to the needs of the participants and this particular emergency.
I believe there is significant potential value for on line communities to support emergency management, but, like most other resources, to be most effective they need to be set up well before they are needed, participants need to be trained and familiar with the structure and processes and know their roles and responsibilities. Thanks to Igloo software and Hal Newman for their efforts.