When emergency managers are able to utilize the latest technology tools and resources, we are afforded new opportunities to enhance resiliency and truly engage with the communities we serve. In recognition of the pace of technology transformation and its impact on our work, the International Association of Emergency Managers established the Emerging Technology Caucus or “IAEM-ETC”. The IAME-ETC seeks to shepherd in new technologies through educational outreach, and help practitioners increase awareness, acceptance and proficiency. Per our mission, we will “research, evaluate, and make recommendations on new and innovative technology as they pertain to emergency management processes, and disseminate best practices to the broader emergency management community”. Caucus members are comprised of practitioners from a myriad of unique disciplines with representation from all levels of government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.
The use of technology in emergency management is rapidly evolving; two of the most recent examples are the crowd-sourced web-based FEMA Think Tank, and the mass proliferation of social media. Initiatives such as these are why the focus of the IAEM-ETC is intentionally broad, some of our areas of interest are: investigating methods of integrating social media into the Incident Command System, examining the impact of the federal Integrated Public Alert and Warning System or “IPAWS” on local notification systems, leveraging mobile technology to manage incidents and reach impacted populations, and identifying cost-effective strategies for implementing new technology systems. It is our collective hope that this work will enhance preparedness by facilitating greater acceptance and proficiency with next generation technologies. We are honored to be part of the IAEM community and look forward to your input on which technology concepts you would like us to explore.