In the days following the events of Superstorm Sandy, communication between emergency workers, city officials, major media outlets and citizens was spotty. We saw it here at Sheepshead Bites, where we scrambled to assemble and organize all the various reports coming out of city, state and federal agencies – not to mention the nonprofit orgs and local elected officials providing their own services.
According to a press release, Senator Chuck Schumer wants to create a centralized source of information for people to turn to in the case of future emergencies that streamlines all the most pertinent data in an easy to use manner.
Schumer’s call to improve communication between residents and officials comes after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) report which highlighted a series of problems about the way information was disseminated to the public leading up to and after the events of Sandy. The report recommended that the government create a new website, “storm.gov” which would be the single authority for all storm related emergency information.
“There simply cannot be confusion about which agency’s website is the go-to source during extreme weather, that’s why I’m urging them to implement ‘storm.gov,’ a one-stop source of accurate information for emergency personnel, the media, and impacted residents,” said Schumer. “I commend the work the National Weather Service and NOAA did in the days leading up to Superstorm Sandy, but their own report clearly indicates we have room for improvement when it comes to communication and keeping everyone in the know during these dangerous storms.”
To me, this sounds like a good idea, the ultimate federal emergency app that would give people the most up-to-date and accurate information from officials. It seems better than just relying on random Twitter remarks, snatches of radio news broadcasts and wild rumors that get spread during these catastrophes – but not as good, of course, as checking in with your favorite local news website. What do you think?