Experts Discuss Digital and Social Media to Improve Disaster Communications

March 6, 2014

A panel discussion on ways digital technology and social media can improve disaster communication is being held this weekend in Austin, Texas.

At the South by Southwest Interactive conference (SXSWi) in Austin, Texas, Insurance Information Institute executive vice president, Andréa C. Basora will moderate the panel discussion “A Perfect Storm: Technology and Disaster Education” with representatives from the American Red Cross, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) and National Weather Service.

The panel will focus on the development and deployment of new social and digital technologies that are emerging every day. The participants, all from non-profit and government organizations doing groundbreaking work in emergency and disaster communications, will discuss innovative tools, social outreach initiatives and multimedia mobile experiences that engage users and significantly improve disaster preparedness and mitigation behavior—and encourage families and communities to be proactive about their safety in the event of a catastrophe.

“A Perfect Storm” will take place Saturday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center, Room 9ABC, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.

Panel participants include:

Wendy Harman, American Red Cross: Director of Information Management and Situational Awareness. Harman was part of the team that developed the Red Cross Digital Operations Center, the first digital operations center used for Big Data situational awareness, individual needs routing, and individual engagement.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH): President and CEO. She spearheaded the creation and delivery of the award-winning, 4-D “edu-tainment” experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Corey Pieper, National Weather Service (NWS): Techniques Development Meteorologist and Co-Chairperson, NWS Emerging Technology Team. Pieper is part of the team leading the NWS to utilize social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Andréa C. Basora, Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.): Executive Vice President. As the I.I.I.’s former senior vice president of Digital Communications, Basora led the organization’s social media strategy and the development of consumer mobile apps for disaster preparation.

Source: I.I.I.

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