Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Social Media in #OKwx warnings #Skywarn #SMEM

In the social media drill a few months back, +Rick Smith and friends at the National Weather Service office in Norman discovered (again) where Social Media is weak.

It's good for getting the word out.  It shines in getting the word out fast.  It fails when people see the word late.

Please remember the average tornado warning is 14 minutes.  Only 46K might
have gotten a timely warning, in an actual event.

What to do about it?

1.  Have MORE than three ways to get weather information.  "NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office."  There surely is a transmitter near you.  You may have to put an outdoor antenna up to hear it well but 98% of the Country is covered.

2.  If your community has a community alerting system, enroll in it.  The City of Altus uses Alert Altus.  There are others.  Many Television and Radio broadcasters offer their own brand of text and email alerts.

3.  Consider WeatherCall if you need a phone call.  This would notify you of warnings when your address is in a National Weather Service warning polygon.  This would be good for a backup to the weather service radio as it would alert you at night.

4.  Get an amateur radio license. Area hams, especially those involved in Skywarn and emergency management, talk about the weather a lot.  Many of them have direct ties to the Weather Service offices.

Have you three ways to get the message?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Free Open Source items for possible #SMEM use

These are all open source websites (Free).

MAPPING  This is a free GIS mapping system. This is a free GIS mapping system. This program allows you to map the inside of a building. (Great for setting up a tactical plan for an active shooter inside a school or church.)  This is a simpler version of the top two crime maps. Also a simpler version of the top two crime maps.

TRAINING  Allows you to make your own quizzes for training purposes.  Also a website that allows you to make quizzes and track an officer’s progress.

SCREEN CASTS  Allows you to make a screen cast video that shows everything that you are doing on the computer. (Great for people who do not remember how to do things on the computer.)  Similar to screenr.

ONLINE EDUCATION Allows you to take online college courses for free. The multijurisdictional counter drug task force offers free law enforcement training online.  FEMA offers multiple high level classes. Free courses through the FBI

PHOTO EDITING Free photo editor Free photo editor Free photo editor

SOUND EDITING Allows you to edit audio files to better hear background noises Similar to the above.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Organizational Webinar on America's PrepareAthon! #OKready #AltusOK

In support of Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-8), National Preparedness, America’s PrepareAthon! is launching its first national day of action this year on April 30, 2014.  Targeting the grassroots level,America’s PrepareAthon! is a nation-wide campaign to encourage the public to practice specific preparedness actions.  Communities are better prepared to withstand an emergency and recover more quickly if everyone is involved.  Events and activities will be held twice yearly to encourage individuals to discuss, practice and train for relevant hazards.
The focus of the first national day of action will be on preparedness for these hazards:
  • Tornadoes Hurricanes, Floods and Wildfires.  
Federal agencies supporting America’s PrepareAthon! are inviting national-level organizations and their stakeholders to participate in one of two informational webinars to learn more about the campaign.  You must register in order to access the webinar(s).  Each webinar will be recorded and available to view at a later time.
Webinar #1 
Webinar #2
With your help, we can move communities and individuals to act and become more prepared by participating in America’s PrepareAthon!  We hope that you can join us for the webinar.  For webinar questions, please contact To learn more about America’s PrepareAthon!, visit

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