Oct 30 2012

FEMA's Modern Approach to Emergency Management

A strategy for everyone and every device.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has used the web to keep residents of New York, New Jersey and other states on the Eastern Seaboard informed about agency activity in response to Hurricane Sandy. A digital presence is crucial to the agency as it coordinates the government response to the storm. Here is how FEMA is handling Hurricane Sandy:


FEMA has been blogging about Hurricane Sandy since the storm was far out in the Atlantic Ocean. The agency's posts focused on preparation in the days leading up to the event, with tips like the ones below:

  • Get some extra cash out at the ATM today. If the power goes out, banks/ATMs may be offline for some time.
  • Make a plan for how you’ll keep your cell phone charged if you lose power for several days. Picking up a solar or hand-crank charger for your phone is a good idea.
  • Employers: make sure your employees are prepared and review your continuity and tele-work plans.

Read the full post here.

The content transitioned as the storm grew closer, and by this morning an extensive blog post included safety tips, ways to help those in need, a video message from the president and resources for those who need to apply for diaster aid.


FEMA has taken a three-pronged approach to connecting with citizens via mobile devices.

  • Mobile Website: Its simple mobile site is accessible from any smartphone and offers quick resources for residents of disaster areas. Learn more.
  • Smartphone App: Owners of iOS, Android and Blackberry devices have access to the FEMA app, which "contains disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers." Learn more.
  • Text Messages: Mobile sites and apps are great for those with smartphones, but text messaging is available to anyone with a feature phone. Subscribing to FEMA's SMS alerts will keep mobile phone users updated with disaster preparation tips, and a few simple commands provide information on shelters and disaster recovery centers. Learn more.

Social Media

The agency has been engaged on Twitter and has added more than 21,000 new followers in just 72 hours. Here are a few examples of the information it has been relaying to its followers:

Follow FEMA on Twitter or check out its website for more news on Hurricane Sandy.

<p>Credit: FEMA</p>