Thursday, May 28, 2015

COVOST Article in FEMA Tech-Hazards Digest

By Micki Trost, CSEPP Public Affairs IPT Co-Chair

Recent disasters have illustrated how social media are used increasingly by both emergency management organizations to communicate public safety information and members of the public to update their status, location, or describe events they are witnessing. Emergency managers now use a VOST to provide situational awareness through social media and online information sites during emergencies.

VOST is a team of trusted agents who lend support via the Internet to those onsite in an emergency. The volume of data generated during a disaster may be overwhelming to has been trained on the VOST.

CSEPP public information officers in Colorado and Kentucky participated in COVOST activation as members for the Colorado 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships and 4/20 events. The training and participation in a non-emergency enabled the CSEPP PIOs to use the specific skills that would be performed during a real emergency. The activation also highlights the importance of maintaining situational awareness during non-disasters affecting our communities.

The CSEPP PA IPT is currently discussing how the VOST concept can be used program wide.

Micki Trost is the Strategic Communications Director for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. She also serves as the co-chair of the CSEPP PA IPT.

View original article posted in the May-June FEMA Tech-Hazards Digest - Scroll to page 4.

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