Keri Stephens' Blog

Intellectual Adrenaline Junkie experiencing & studying this communication technology-filled world!

Archive for September, 2011

Organizations and Emergency Response Notification

I have been working on analyzing the data from the UT Sept. 28, 2010 active shooter emergency and text messaging really played an important notification role.  I will be presenting the findings from the first study out of this data during the National Communication Association Meeting in New Orleans in November 2011.  With all the fires in the Austin, Tx area it has me thinking about how people were notified.  Sometimes you can smell smoke or see flames, but in the early stages of a fire, how did people know to evacuate?  I suspect that much of this notification occurs by going door-to-door, the same way that my family learned to evacuate during the 1978 flood in central Texas.  Yet some things are very different because during the recent fires, people started Tweeting, posting notifications on their Facebook pages, and the local news participated as well.  This is such an important area of research because hopefully we can find ways to use communication tools to save lives.