Social media has changed the way public safety agencies communicate with the residents in their community. Platforms add an additional communication medium to not only provide valuable life-saving information before and during an emergency crisis, but also as a way to learn how to serve the community better. It is important to remember that agency-run social media is not a one way, top to bottom method of communication. Effective public safety use ensures communication is agency to resident and resident to agency.
Ashley E. Morris will share with us why emergency management and public safety agencies are utilizing social media, what platforms and techniques are being used, and how the public can better assist public safety agencies during local emergencies and disasters. The concept of volunteer-based virtual operation support teams (VOST) will also be discussed.
About Our Speaker
Ashley E. Morris is currently the emergency planner and assistant emergency management coordinator for the City of Leander. Her primary roles as an emergency manager cover tasks in preparing, responding, and recovering from local emergencies and disasters. Daily tasks include emergency disaster planning, community outreach, public information, and building partnerships to allow for better disaster response. During severe weather, she helps coordinate the local emergency operations center and assists with the decision-making process of disaster response within her city. She also produces weather forecasts for city operations.
Ashley received her master's in natural hazards geography from Texas Tech University in December 2016. Her thesis work was titled, "An Investigation of Social Vulnerability and Storm Resource Availability for Tornado Hazards in Lubbock, Texas." Her undergraduate work at Texas Tech dabbled in geophysics and atmospheric science. While at Texas Tech, she was the team lead for the West Texas Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) sponsored by the National Weather Service. West Texas VOST supported severe weather operations by using social media techniques to find storm damage reports and assist during incidents.