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FEMA administrator in a Twitter first? @femainfocus to answer questions

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FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison

FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison

Twitter, the micro-blogging site, is growing at a remarkable clip — 722 percent in 2008. That means that agencies are looking to reach citizens via Twitter. (Find those on Twitter at the GovTwit list and the US Government on Twitter list — you can even follow me at Most agencies really really just post items from their Web site. But FEMA is doing what I think is a first — taking to Twitter for a “Twitter Media Conference.”

In what I believe is a first — I stand to be corrected — the FEMA administrator, David Paulison, will be taking to Twitter on Monday from 3-3:30p (ET, I assume) — something they’re called a Twitter Media Conference.

On Twitter, you can find FEMA at — @femainfocus in Twitter lingo. And they are using #FEMARDP, which lets you search for topics in this area.

Here is their brief write-up:

FEMAINFOCUS Twitter Media Conference

FEMA Administrator David Paulison will be available from 3 -3:30 pm Monday, Jan 12, 2009, to give a message and reply to questions using the agency’s Twitter account, femainfocus. The agency’s top official will discuss where FEMA was, where it is now, and where he sees it going.

All related documents will be posted or linked from this page so please use this page to bookmark or link to.

Press Release on the Twitter Media Availability

Statement on Protocols for the Event

Read the full release after the break…
Here is the full press release from FEMA on their Twitter meeting:

FEMA Administrator David Paulison will participate in an all access social media press conference through the agency’s Twitter account, Femainfocus, Monday, January 12, 2009 from 3 – 3:30 pm EST. Paulison will use the opportunity to speak directly to the public through the social media tool on how the agency has evolved over the years and the direction it is currently heading. Paulison will make a few short statements before opening the floor for questions.

The agency chose to offer the public availability to highlight the value of social media tools in emergency management and disaster response. Tools, such as Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, to name a few sites, have been used by emergency responders, citizens and mass media to gather information and disseminate emergency messages. FEMA recognizes the value of web-based and SMS tools that help the public prepare for and respond to disasters.

FEMA has been using Twitter since October, 2008 as a means to offer information about the agency’s mission, efforts and perspective. The agency also launched its YouTube page in 2008 to provide stories about how its programs work in communities nationwide as they prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

Anyone can join the Twitter discussion by going to and clicking on “follow” under the icon. Those logged in on their own free accounts can ask a question or make a statement by sending an @femainfocus tweet. Paulison will try to answer questions in order as they arrive; and any questions not answered by Paulison during the half hour availability will be answered throughout the day by representatives from the agency.

When: Monday, January 12, 2009 from 3 – 3:30 pm EST
Who: FEMA Administrator David Paulison

FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Written by cdorobek

January 11, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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