One year ago today, we launched our first-ever blog here at FEMA and added a long overdue communications channel to our toolbox. As I explained in our inaugural blog post:
This won’t be another way to put out our press releases - this is a way to communicate directly with you…we will provide information before, during and after disaster strikes and we will highlight best practices, innovative ideas, and insights that are being used across emergency management and across the country.Like many one-year-olds, our blog learned a lot during its first year of life about how to better serve our communities and disaster survivors.
For one, our blog turned out to be an effective tool for sharing critical information about what the entire team was doing to support communities before, during and after disasters. For example, during the tornadoes that swept across the southeast last spring and during Hurricane Irene, we used the blog to share what many federal agencies, state and local officials, private sector organizations, volunteer groups and other partners were doing across many states at once to help survivors and communities respond and recover.
We also used the blog to open up our doors to give an inside look at FEMA, highlight more experienced bloggers in sharing their message, and share the work of the entire emergency management team. And perhaps most importantly, we’ve found time and again that our best, most powerful blogs haven’t come from us – but from all of you. Such as:
- Explaining how our Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama provided training to state and local officials in Minot, North Dakota, in Joplin, Missouri, and other communities that helped them deal with devastating disasters.
- Posting tips from our friends the Center for Disease Control for surviving a zombie apocalypse – which reminded all of us that humor and creativity can go a long way in getting an important message out.
- Examining the ongoing recovery efforts with our partners with Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency regarding the deadly tornadoes that struck the state last April.
And this is just the beginning – we will continue to find ways to improve this tool. So instead of a party or gifts for the FEMA blog’s one-year birthday, we’re asking that you continue to give your input, feedback and ideas. Keep pushing us to do better, keep letting us know what works well and what doesn’t.
Year two begins today – let’s get going. Let us know what you’d like to see in the comments below.