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Friday Round Up – Calgary floods, Arts groups and Social Media

It is a good Friday afternoon in Victoria, but our fellow Canadians in Calgary and the surrounding area’s are having a time of it. We will check in there first during this weeks Round Up.

Heavy rains in southern Alberta force mandatory evacuations in areas of Calgary and surroundings.    With the torrential rains causing massive flooding in Alberta, highways are being washed away breaking major supply lines between cities and affected communities.  The RCMP put out a call for help to the Canadian Armed Forces to help extract stranded people.  Reports are coming in that the Saddledome is flooded up to row 10.  The worst may not be over yet and we keep the citizens of southern Alberta in our thoughts and prayers.

From nwfdailynews.com comes the following very interesting post: “ArtsReady can Help Prepare Groups for Emergencies”  By Brenda Shoffner of the Daily News, the article talks about the advice given by ArtsReady.org which is an Internet-based emergency preparedness platform designed to provide arts and cultural organizations with customized business continuity plans for post crisis sustainability.  The importance of an ICE (In case of emergency) contact list for staff and volunteers, alternative facilities for events, and signing up for a mobile alert system are just three area’s that need attention.  Good stuff!!

The final post for today fittingly is about How Social Media is Changing Disaster Response.  Instantaneous news on your twitter feed can keep you up to the minute on disasters like the Alberta flooding, tornadoes or earthquakes world wide.  The article mentions when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Facebook was the new kid on the block. There was no Twitter for news updates, and the iPhone was not yet on the scene. By the time Hurricane Sandy slammed the eastern seaboard last year, social media had become an integral part of disaster response.  Following the Boston Marathon bombings, one quarter of Americans reportedly looked to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for information, according to The Pew Research Center.  These mediums are being integrated into the emergency management planning and I say well done!

That’s all for this week.  I leave you with the following:

It’s coming whether you believe it or not.  And it’s better to be a year, month or day early, than a minute late!

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