Hurricane Irene Update 1


Update 1: Hurricane Irene (8/26/2011 6:30pm EST)

Today there has been activity across email and Skype on supporting the Hurricane Irene response.
Safety First – Be Smart
First – if you are in the storm path, please take precautions and be prepared NOW for power outages and severe damage. We do not advocate for anyone in the storm range to be supporting these activities. The first priority is always the safety of yourself and your family. There are many of us, including myself, in the days coming who will likely be disconnected. This is where our friends and community who leave outside of the crisis region can really come to assist. Just know if people aren’t responding to you they likely don’t have power and are not connected. Regardless, folks who are in the path should take care of themselves first. Seriously with all the love bombs in the world – we mean this.
Where to Volunteer
Current Resources Activated
* CrisisCommons Skype Chat – let us know if you aren’t on yet.
* CrisisCamp Cities – What city leads are interested in coordination?
All Hands Conference Call 
On Saturday and Sunday we will be hosting a Noon EST Conference call for coordination and reporting. If people are on the call someone will need to volunteer and lead the call, and someone to take notes.
Where You Can Help
* Collect Data Feeds: Anyone can help collect data feeds, twitter hash tags, and other reference information to share. Ideally would like to have more pages for states like North Carolina and such
* Find Local Resources: Crisis Wiki (Brad Banner) has been launched for Hurricane Irene here: Join their google group here
* Support Crisismapping: Aaron Huslage (NC) has launched Full Instance of Ushahidi to support information sharing – there is a Skype Chat supporting the map. Contact via Skype at huslage
* Media Monitoring: American Red Cross has asked for volunteers to help monitor twitter for Red Cross needs. CrisisCommons paired ARC with Humanity Road. HR are supporting
* Media Monitoring: Humanity Road is providing media monitoring for Red Cross and supporting the Ushahidi instance. Check out
* Scraping Data: Looking for someone to take these links to place here
* Standby Task Force is not activated, however members are supporting Aaron’s map (see above)
* Incident Coordinators: We need a few folks to coordinate and mentor the Skype Chat
* Volunteer Coordinator: We need some folks to mentor new folks, wiki editing expertise ideal
* LInk Herder: Someone to collect all the links everyone is sharing on all the google groups, twitter feeds and document on the wiki, we don’
* Blog Wizard: Someone to capture what’s happening and post it up to the blog (Communications Workgroup folks desired)
* Storm Historian (for the After Action Review): If there is a university out there wanting to document what’s happening would be super great to have you aboard. Or people who just like archiving and researching. This would be great for you.
Using this event as a learning moment. Just a few thoughts which were shared earlier this week with FL CrisisCamp folks in thinking about preparation for Hurricane Irene:
1) What tech communities exist and could be connected to support in the region?
2) What potentially would be needs, local-assessment, media monitoring capability?
3) Who could be the identified local authoritative information which we all can be an echo chamber for?
4) Develop a wiki space for collaboration and documentation (Complete)
5) Area areas in the impact area (and surrounding states) be spun up to host a CC which is out of the way of the storm? What can be done virtually? Mentorship from others cities outside of the potential impact area
6) Can there be university or private sector support to gin up server space if needed for anything?Thoughts for the our friends in other technology volunteer communities:
1) Would be super great to establish a “unified command” type of coordination (i.e. communities checking in daily in some kind of capacity)
2) 24hrs before landfall begin daily conference calls (see above)
3) Develop a preliminary joint assessment – what could/is happening? what assets could be needed that can be provided by tech vols? who is doing what?
Take care everyone in the storm’s path – remember your safety is #1.
Be safe. Take care
Heather Blanchard
Co  Founder


About Heather Blanchard

Heather Blanchard is a co-founder of CrisisCommons and CrisisCamp.

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