5/16/2012

Social Media Lessons from the Joplin Tornado


There were many lessons about how to use social media to save lives and reduce the damage to property before, during and after a huge tornado hit Joplin, Missouri on May 11, 2011. Here are some of mine.

(Photo: A destroyed helicopter lies on its side in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

  • Have Facebook page up and running BEFORE the disaster so:People can use it to locate relatives, find friends, confirm who is alive and who has perished
  • First responders, police, mayor and other authorities can communicate with the public using social media tools (VueToo, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and many others)
  • Identify and educate about looters, criminals, scams
  • Official volunteers know where to go and what to do
  •  Citizen volunteers know what to gather and how to deliver it
  •  Possessions can be gathered and returned to their owners Lost and Found Property Listing
Each of these lessons, and others, can be found in the extensive Joplin Facebook postings below.
Here are links to provide background about the disaster. It is well worth visiting these websites now that time has passed. There are many recovery and getting-back-to-normal lessons to be found there.
[Photos courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeitlosimagery as first found on
 http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/devastating-pictures-of-the-joplin-missouri-torna]
Here are examples of official press releases that can be used as templates for communicating with the public:

Tornado Information

REMINDER, Police and fire officials are strongly encouraging anyone who does not have a home in the affected area to please stay clear of the damage site. Search and rescue operations will continue throughout the evening and emergency personnel needs full, unobstructed access to do their jobs. Thank you for your cooperation. And please help spread the word.
- The Joplin Tornado Sirens will be TESTED at 10:30am Tuesday morning to ensure that they are working.
- Missouri American Water has issued a boil order for all water to be ingested or consumed in the City of Joplin and will continue until further notice. Bring your water to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes.

Links
City of Joplin Facebook Page - Most current City information being posted there first.

Safe & Well Website - Red Cross, Safe and Well Website. You can report yourself Safe and Well & search for loved ones.State of Missouri - Joplin Tornado Information

www.disasterassistance.gov - FEMA Disaster Assistance
Residents and business owners affected by the storm can apply for assistance through FEMA, with up to $30,200 available for each individual. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA (3362), or register via smartphone at m.FEMA.gov.
(Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

City of Joplin News Releases

Tuesday, May 24th - FEMA Assistance Residents and business owners affected by the storm can apply for assistance through FEMA, with up to $30,200 available for each individual. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA (3362), or register via smartphone at FEMA.gov.

Tuesday, May 24th - 7:15am - Update Press Conference scheduled for 9:00am today.
The City of Joplin would like to announce that a news conference will be held today at 9:00 a.m. at Cunningham Park, located just east of the intersection of 26th and Maiden Lane.

Attending the news conference will be Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr; Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles; and possibly FEMA representatives. For additional updates, citizens are encouraged to visit www.facebook.com/cityofjoplin.

Monday, May 23rd - 12:01pm - Update Press Conference scheduled for 3:00pm today.
City of Joplin Press Conf to update status of search &rescue efforts in aftermath of tornado tragedy will be held at 3 pm on Mon, May 23 @Joplin Armory, 2000 W 32nd St. City is working to keep high damage area clear of unnecessary traffic in order to provide efficient services to our citizens.

Monday, May 23rd - morning - Joplin Boil Order
Missouri American Water has issued a boil order for all customers in the Joplin area.
Monday, May 23rd - 4:01am - Wellness Check hotline
The City of Joplin understands the concern many have about their loved ones who endured the tornado that traveled through the middle of Joplin at approximately 5:45 p.m. Sunday, May 22nd. Citizens can now check on the status of their friends and family by calling 417-659-5464
Many homes and businesses have been affected, and Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston has declared a local disaster due to the damage of this storm. The City is also working under a state disaster declaration..
Monday, May 23 - 3:01am - Volunteers for Tornado Disaster should report to MSSU's Recreation Center
A significant tornado came through the middle section of Joplin near 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 22nd. Many homes and businesses have been affected, and Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston has declared a local disaster due to the damage of this storm. The City is also working under a state disaster declaration.
Many people have contacted the City of Joplin to volunteer assistance to the victims of the storm. ALL citizen volunteers should report to the Recreation Center at Missouri Southern State University. Volunteers' services are appreciated, but to be effective, will need to be coordinated through this centralized location.
Citizens are reminded that the American Red Cross, in cooperation with the City, has set up a shelter at Missouri Southern State University in the Leggett & Platt Center. The City and Joplin R-8 are coordinating transportation to help those left homeless due to tornado. People can go to the following locations and a bus will take them to the shelter. People should go to:
1. Junge Stadium on 13th Street;
2. Forest Park Baptist Church, 7th & Range Line
3. Lowe's 24th & Range Line
4. Vintage Stock, 32nd & Main.
Because of the severe damage to many buildings, people are advised to check with their schools and/or employers about Monday's schedule to learn if the facilities are open. Many places are affected and will be closed. This includes Joplin Municipal Court and Joplin Public Schools.

The City has activated its Emergency Operations Center, and is working closely with American Red Cross, emergency management services and medical personnel of numerous surrounding communities to assess the damage and assist those hurt in this storm. We appreciate everyone's patience, and ask if you do not have to be out in the City to please stay home and help your neighbors and friends as needed.

Sunday, May 22: 10:55pm - NOTICE ON TORNADO DAMAGE IN JOPLIN
(A cross stands atop a church that was severely damaged. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The City of Joplin understands that many families and homes have been affected by the tornado. Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston has declared a local disaster due to the damage of this storm. The City has activated its Emergency Operations Center, and is working closely with American Red Cross, emergency management services and medical personnel of numerous surrounding communities to assess the damage and assist those hurt in this storm. We appreciate everyone's patience, and ask if you do not have to be out in the City to please stay home and help your neighbors and friends as needed.
For those needing shelter, the American Red Cross has set up a shelter at Missouri Southern State University in the , Leggett & Platte Center. The City and Joplin R-8 are coordinating transportation to help those left homeless due to tornado. People can go to the following locations and a bus will take them to the shelter. People should go to:
1. Junge Stadium on 13th Street;
2. Forest Park Baptist Church, 7th & Rangeline
3. Lowe's 24th & Rangeline
4. Vintage Stock, 32nd & Main.
I copied the Facebook Postings below on May 24, 2011 from:
http://www.facebook.com/joplinmo?sk=wall&filter=12 
They are worth reading because the capture lessons from the critical 72 hours after the event. They are especially useful for what people offer besides advice, like where to donate wheel chairs for the elderly who need them and where pet owners can find locate their pets.

May 24, 2011 Joplin Facebook postings:

Lauryn Marie I am with the River Valley Leader News Organization and just got off the phone with the Salvation Army. Lt. Josh Robinett says that the donations are all very thoughtful, but they are being overrun. Monetary donations are the best way to help with the diaster relief. There is a link on the on salvationarmy.org website to donate. If you would like more news check on rivervalleyleader.com
Roya Lorge I live in Clarksville, TN, but Springfield is my hometown and I want to help. I am taking donations here in TN and plan on driving them down this weekend. I know that almost anything would be appreciated, but I need to know what are the greatest necessities as of right now, besides water. Thanks! 
Amy Martin Conner shoes, water, baby supplies, personal hygenie, and food items that are individually wrapped are needed.
Roya Lorge Thank you!
Alexanderea C. Hamilton Tide Loads of Hope and Duracell Truck will be open to the public beginning Thurs. at the Walmart on 7th St in Joplin MO. The Duracell truck has power stations that enable people to charge devices and use PC's to communicate to their families they are safe (7am-7pm). Tide Loads of Hope is a mobile laundromat that washes 300 loads a day! Please share this with anyone that may need this
Free day care for children of volunteers at Carterville Christian Church. Please call 417 540 9029 for more info on dropping kids off, driving directions or volunteering to work the day care.
How can I help? I am in Chicago and I am ready to ask around work and all my friends to donate cloths, supplies, etc. Can I ship them? Is there anything specific you are looking for?
Teresa Beck i know that are asking for bottle water, no one is allowed to drink the water in joplin, also need diapers ,blankets,pillows , canned goods too
Alabama 2011 Tornado Lost or Missing Josette, you may want to check out this Google Document. Organizations are listing locations for drop offs there. http://goo.gl/9N0LS Truckers are volunteering their time to transport, also. 
(A man carries a young boy who was rescued after being trapped in his home. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett)
Patricia Newsom Cedillo
Anyone know of a place to mail donated clothes and such? I'm in Texas.
Amber Spence Check The Bridge they are coordinating with a lot od donators.
Amber Spence of donators sorry!
Kerry Pece Try contacting someone from this site http://goo.gl/9N0LS
I have clean childrens clothing ranging from 12 months - 5T, Teen sizes and adult. Live in Springfield, MO...where can I take these to?
Kerry Pece Try this website http://goo.gl/9N0LS
All subway restaurants in the independence missouri area, and the subway in liberty mo walmart are accepting all non-monetary donations. Please inbox me if you have any questions.
Who in Joplin can tell me about - ?
1. the roads and access to the city
2. stores that are open, we can send gift cards if we know where to get them from
Jan Ashley April Hoth Reeves and Timothy Reeves will be filling their Church van from Town and Country Christian Church in Okmulgee, OK this week to take to Joplin. Personal items, WATER, diapers are most needed. Look into your stockpiles and see what you can give. Call me or their number is 405-614-0076. They would like the donations by Wednesday. Thanks. Also, gloves, tarps, trash bags and totes are needed. They are taking them to April's Parents Church to be distributed. 
where in springfield can i drop off items? does anyone need clothes (maternity or baby)
Jennifer Schuck Raby Q 1021 studios in the food for less shopping center
Mitsya Marsupial the bistro market parking lot downtown.
Donna M Meek I need to know if we can deliver supplies, we have some 4-H clubs collecting
Mitsya Marsupial the local officials are begging people not to just sow up. contact your area's red cross or united way & let them coordinate with the city for delivery
Donna M Meek Thank you!!
Kristyn Bolin My husband works for MoDOT about an hour away from Joplin - just heard they are heading out with all their dump trucks and chainsaws! :)
The Kitchen, IncThe Kitchen will be collecting personal care items through Friday for our neighbors in Joplin. Please bring these items to our Administration Building, 420 E Pacific Springfield, MO between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. For more info please call 417-837-1500 and ask to speak with Stephanie or Kippie. Items to donate: tooth brushes, tooth paste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc. Thank you!
Alicia MorrisCBC is in need of type O negative. Please consider donating blood at this time and give the gift of life!
Jaclyn Gittings At this time Show-Me Response remains on stand-by. Local and regional resources are being utilized. The remaining hospital does not require additional staff at this time. Should that change, we will call up volunteers through Show-Me Response. At this time we ask that our volunteers please be patient, get plenty of rest. Please do not self deploy. (Residents begin digging through the rubble of their home. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett)
Steve Elliott Did Sagmont Baptist Camp get hit?
Leslie Cheesman Rovero We are in Los Angeles.... who do we contact in your area to send clothes and other stuff to you guys!!??? God Bless and know you are all in our prayers. 
Janet Svendsen Bain May be helpful for everyone in surrounding areas collecting items of what is needed, wanted, desired so people can do what they can to send those items...
The Kitchen, Inc The Kitchen will be collecting personal care items through Friday for our neighbors in Joplin. Please bring these items to our Administration Building, 420 E Pacific Springfield, MO between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. For more info please call 417-837-1500 and ask to speak with Stephanie or Kippie. Items to donate: tooth brushes, tooth paste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc. Thank you! 
Jaclyn GittingsAt this time Show-Me Response remains on stand-by. Local and regional resources are being utilized. The remaining hospital does not require additional staff at this time. Should that change, we will call up volunteers through Show-Me Response. At this time we ask that our volunteers please be patient, get plenty of rest. Please do not self deploy
Shawn Lee Defiant Wood‎.lookin for scott morris, chris miller, stormy miller, and chris elseworth. anyone that knows them from my joplin friends needs to help me find them. also lookin for liz eads.Do you know if any organization is collecting canes, walkers and wheelchairs for the elderly?
Philip Struble Weather update: More storms and possible tornadoes tonight. Highest risk for the Joplin area will be between 9-11pm. Looks like the highest possibility of tornadoes is in an area extending from Salina to southern Oklahoma and from south central Kansas to the 4State area. Stay alert. I will keep the updates coming
Tricia Burg Oh no I hope and pray the weatherman is wrong.
Sara Winne Foster Would the admin of this site please contact me when you get a chance? We are setting up a website of resources and I would like to connect you with it. Please write when you have a chance with your contact info so I can give you more information. Thanks.
Alabama 2011 Tornado Lost or Missing After recently going through this, please be careful where you donate money. Unfortunately, there are many who are not honest and will take advantage of this tragedy.
I know most people list the ARC, but there are many more legitimate organizations who will take and distribute money locally without the large overhead of a corporation or the risk of being scammed.
Kristyn Bolin My husband works for MoDOT about an hour away from Joplin - just heard they are heading out with all their dump trucks and chainsaws! :)
Teri Wheeler OK YA'LL I CALLED THEM ABOUT THIS PAGE NEEDING A SHARE BUTTON! WOOHOO! SHE SAID I KNOW JUST THE PERSON TO TELL! SO AGAIN THIS IS HOW IT IS TO BE A SHOW ME STATE GIRL! SHOW THEM AND THEY WILL GET IT DONE! ;) THANKS FOR THE IDEA FOR A SHARE BUTTON! 
Brooke Tosie So what do i do if i wanna go to Joplin and help? Do i just go down there?
Brooke Tosie Thank you all !!
Brittany Nicole You can sign up as a volunteer on www.211missouri.org/
Josette Sacco How can I help? I am in Chicago and I am ready to ask around work and all my friends to donate cloths, supplies, etc. Can I ship them? Is there anything specific you are looking for?
Teresa Beck i know that are asking for bottle water, no one is allowed to drink the water in joplin, also need diapers ,blankets,pillows , canned goods too
Alabama 2011 Tornado Lost or Missing Josette, you may want to check out this Google Document. Organizations are listing locations for drop offs there. http://goo.gl/9N0LS Truckers are volunteering their time to transport, also.
Frank Drake A Shear Thing Salon is partnering with Heart to Heart,
Plato's Closet, and other Shawnee, KS businesses to collect
supplies for those affected by the tornado in Joplin, MO
Here is how you can help...
CARE KIT CONTENTS:
Kim Bedell I have a crew of guys that can come from Leavenworth KS with chainsaws and bobcat equipment. Who do I need to get in contact with so they can make arrangements to come help out?
Amy Martin Conner for help in the rescue and cleanup efforts, you should contact the joplin police dept (417) 623-3131 and let them know your skills and what equipmet you have. :)
Kim Bedell Thank you!
I have clean childrens clothing ranging from 12 months - 5T, Teen sizes and adult. Live in Springfield, MO...where can I take these to?
Hospitals where people were taken
Integris Baptist Health Center in Miami - 918-542-6611
McCune Brooks Hospital in Carthage 417-358-8121
St. John's Hospital in Springfield 417-820-2000
(Destroyed vehicles are piled on top of one another in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Sabrina Bentrup MRC Recycling is Accepting Non-Perishable Donations for Joplin Relief
On Saturday, May 28, MRC will be taking a truck to Joplin, Missouri to aid in the recovery in the wake of the destruction sustained during the recent storm activity.
We are taking non-perishable donations at all MRC locations. Donations must be brought in by Friday th...See More
A MO family is matching up to $50,000 in donations made to Heart of Missouri United Way for Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery.
Nikki Moffett Czeschin Trying to locate Stanley Moffett or any of his family in the Joplin area. They are not listed on the safe and well website. I know the odds of someone hearing of him are slight, but I thought I'd put it out there. Thanks!
Amanda Claxton Missouri United Way has established the Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery. To donate, call 573-443-4523. Or text "JOPLIN" to 864833 to make a $10 donation. :)
Joanne Curio if any one going up to joplin from lebanon mo let me know because i would love to help out here is my no 417-322-0707 my name is joanne
Debbie Gibbs Godlewski Joanne - seriously...i don't even know you but, be careful!!!
Joanne Curio i need to go and help out thats me my heart is telling me to help out because we may be able to save lifes out there
Phone lines are now open at Heart of Missouri United Way! Call 573-443-4523, go online to http://uwheartmo.org/, or text JOPLIN to 864833 to make a donation. A MO family has pledged to match up to $50,000 in donations made to this organization, beginning this morning, and 00% of proceeds go straight to Joplin. All overhead is being covered locally.
uwheartmo.org
This is the official website of the Heart of Missouri United Way in Columbia, Missouri.
Savannah Portell And baby supplies!
Maria Zaldiba Thank you for all you're doing. I'm praying and will donate.Amber Lucas St. John's in Tulsa, Ok. has people that were injured. The main number is 918-744-2345. I am checking with the other hospitals around here as well.
(Residents of Joplin, Mo, walk west on 26th Street near Maiden Lane. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett)
Jarred Young ok so fema has too many numbers anyone know the number for fema in joplin???Bill Benson Our needs our becoming very specific at the shelter, for example we need treats and snacks, particularly diabetic friendly items. Also office supplies like ink pens. Please share and repost.Jennifer Tomasi Joplin Tornado Lost Documents

This is a new page that has people who have found photos and other documents, personal items in their lawns etc. after the tornado. They are trying to return these things to their owners.
Very good 
\Tony Williams Don't pos medical records. Its a HEPA violation. Morgan GunterBe wary to donate. Trucks are being turned away. And you never know who is lying about supplies... Happened with Katrina. Go through the Red Cross or Fema
Jessica StocktonStockton Law Office at 207 E. Main St., Gardner, KS 66030 is now taking donations like clothing, shoes, non-perishable food items, hand sanitizer, and money for the families affected by the tornado in Joplin, MO. We are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. closed from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. Thank you, please re-post to get the word out!
Lief Eric MaloneCould the group creators please make a $10 Million for Joplin event, encouraging 1 million people to give $10 to the Heart of Missouri United Way?
Jarod ClarkeThe Kansas City Chiefs are accepting donations of bottled water from noon to 7pm today and Wednesday from 7am to 7pm at Arrowhead Stadium Lot C. http://bit.ly/iG0VqUJennifer Leisure SlinkardI'd be more than willing to take in any victims/families that need a temporary place...I'm in Fort Scott about 1 hour away fro m Joplin.

social media disaster response
Social Media in Disaster Response Infographic by the University of San Francisco.

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