As I write this, Mexico has just announced 149 deaths to swine flu. And, a few minutes ago, that city was rocked by a 6.0 earthquake. 40 cases of swine flu now reported in US. World Heath Organization on brink of declaring a pandemic, elevating the status to 4 or 5. Travel advisories going out.
And I’m trying to write a new presentation for the emergency management group of one very large federal agency on the importance of Virtual Joint Information Centers .
Social media is absolutely abuzz with talk of swine flu. Here are a few resources that I am using to track and you might find useful as well:
Some good advice from a communications professional: BrianMcDaniel
Now a word about Virtual JICs:
A JIC is a Joint Information Center. The MANDATORY (under National Incident Management System) assemblage of Public Information Officers from responding agencies to gather in a physical location to work together to communicate about the response. So if the event is a pandemic, the communicators are ordered to get together in a room so they can get the message out to everyone else to not do as they are doing. Sorry, doesn’t make sense to me. Especially since it has been very well established in major events including Hurricane Katrina that a dispersed communication team can operate very effectively using appropriate web technology. What is appropriate web technology? Go here.