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GEMA using social networking for alerts

POSTED: May 11, 2009 9:48 a.m.
ATLANTA — Social media technology is making it easier to share information and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency-Office of Homeland Security is now using these new tools to reach out to more Georgians with information about disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
“People are relying more and more on social media for instant news updates, and GEMA is capitalizing on this trend to help keep more of our residents aware, informed and prepared for disaster,” said GEMA-OHS Director Charley English.
GEMA is posting its press releases, one-minute weather updates, disaster situation reports and other information on Twitter. This free microblogging service enables users to send short text messages, 140 characters in length, called “tweets” to other “followers.”
The short format of the tweet allows informal collaboration and real-time information sharing. Anyone can view GEMA’s tweets at twitter.com/GeorgiaEMA, but to receive updates interested parties must create an account and become a “follower” of GeorgiaEMA. Updates can be received on personal digital assistants, cell phones or via e-mail.
In addition, GEMA’s preparedness campaign, Ready Georgia, now has a Facebook page. Anyone with a Facebook account can become a fan and invite others to be fans, too. When users visit the page, they can learn how to build a disaster supplies kit and make a preparedness plan, discover how to get their businesses ready, participate in discussions and watch videos, including one featuring Atlanta Falcon Ovie Mugelli encouraging residents to be ready for an emergency.
GEMA is also sharing these videos on YouTube at these URLs:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsGQXn_dzg0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrN4UCD_paA  www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hczmf3iQFM
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsGQXn_dzg0
Anyone can sign up to receive GEMA’s RSS feeds at www.gema.ga.gov.
GEMA is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. For more information on GEMA, go to www.gema.ga.gov. To learn how to prepare for disaster, go to www.ready.ga.gov.
 

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