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FEMA expands social networking, mobile apps

Aug. 5, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expanding its use of social networking and crowdsourcing tools to better serve its customers, according to an agency official Monday.

The agency launched its “Disaster Reporter” app that allows users to upload pictures and information about disasters in their area and have them posted to an online map, said Shayne Adamski, senior manager of digital engagement at FEMA, in a blog post.

“We’re really excited about this new feature, because it gives all stakeholders in a disaster area the ability to upload information to a centralized place, allowing all emergency managers to view the information,” Adamski said.

The app is available for Android, Apple and BlackBerry operating systems.

The agency also has rolled out other social media products recently, such as a social hub that collects Twitter feeds from different FEMA offices and puts it into one place, at http://www.fema.gov/social-hub. A page on LinkedIn will offer visitors stories about agency employees as well as job listings and training materials. FEMA’s Fire Administration — which collects and sponsors fire research and offers fire-related education and training — created a Facebook page that offers visitors news and information about fires and fire prevention.

Adamski said the agency has been looking to expand its digital and social media products and is hoping for positive feedback from its latest offerings.

“Kick the tires, as they say, and let us know what you think,” he said.

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