Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crowdsourced Hurricane Sandy-related outages, etc.

UPDATED 10/30 8:37am: To see the CrisisCampDC map of Hurricane Sandy outages and more, go to https://sandydc.crowdmap.com/.

According to CrisisCampDC,

This Crowdmap is being run by digital responders who want to use the power of the people to help map out concerns, events issues and reports during Hurricane Sandy in the District of Columbia. So thanks for your report and someone from CrisisCampDC will review it & post it once approved. If this is an emergency, please contact 9-1-1. or HSEMA (202) 727-6161 @DC_HSEMA

I completely understand the value of a resource like this.   My only questions are:

  1. Should the District government―particularly DDOT, HSEMA, DMPSJ, and DC Water (I know they are not gov)―be active partners in this effort to make it most useful?
  2. Do the government agencies stream enough up-to-date data to quickly populate this and future maps?
  3. If CrisisCampDC does partner with the government, should HSEMA link to the latest crisis map?

If you follow me on Twitter (@susiecambria), you may have noticed I suggest improvements to various websites and practices, especially during emergencies, crises-in-the-making, and the like.   My on-going suggestion about emergency management and communications is this: The District government needs a better, more effective communications plan.   So rather than just add the CrisisCamp link to a future emergency page, I suggest stepping back and taking a fresh look at the entirety of the communications plan and include, of course, links to non-government resources.

More information about CrisisCampDC is on their blog.

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