Social media is a huge part of everyday life for many people, so it would be silly if we weren’t part of that.  We want to make being prepared for an emergency something that is normal and everyday, and easy.

Facebook

You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WREMOnz 

You might join us on Facebook during or because of emergency events for updates on what was happening, and then wonder why we keep posting about community groups and community events and fairs, and ask what that has to do with emergency management.

We certainly post warnings and emergency updates when we need to, but most of the time there is no emergency (and that's just the way we like it!), so most of our time is actually spent on helping you build your capacity to get through, finding ways to connect people and communities, and getting everyone to work together to make the Wellington region more resilient.

Basically, connected communities do better in emergencies, so we do what we can to help build connections between people.  Making connections in your community is just as important an emergency preparedness activity as storing water and having survival items, and like the other things you do to get more prepared, the best time to make those connections is now, when there is no emergency. Community fairs and other events are a great way to see the groups which are active in your local area - you may see a group that you are interested in joining! You may also see our fantastic volunteers at those events - they want to help their communities become more resilient and better prepared.   Sports teams become clean-up crews, a Facebook page for organising a school fair becomes a school community hub for information and sharing resources in a storm, a doggy play-date group becomes an emergency dog care team when an owner can't get home, the list goes on - all community groups which have nothing to do with emergencies until an emergency happened, and then show us the incredible value of being more than just an individual.

We use Facebook to:

  • Help you get more prepared with  information and advice, pointing you towards useful resources and sharing preparedness tips.
  • Build our connections with you and help connect you to others – we get to have conversations with you, and you can also talk with other people you might not otherwise meet.
  • Have a bit of fun – not everything about emergencies is doom and gloom!
  • Get your opinions and see what you think, and get your experiences.
  • Get information out as quickly as possible about potential or occurring emergencies – this information can be shared with all your friends so we can reach a lot of people with your help.
  • Ask for information. It’s actually really handy for us to be able to get your eye-witness accounts of what’s happening out there, and a shared picture is definitely worth a thousand words.

Twitter

You can find WREMO on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WREMOinfo  - there we post the 140 character version of warnings and emergency updates. We generally use it to broadcast information rather than engage in conversation.

Weather warnings

We share weather warnings that we receive from the MetService.  We get quite a lot of them, either for heavy rain or for strong winds – our region gets some quite extreme weather, and that’s actually pretty normal for us!  We share these messages because they can help you make good decisions – you can prepare your home and property, tie down the trampoline, move livestock, or change your plans to help keep you safer.  We don’t post the weather watches that come through (there’s even more of those), or whether it’s going to rain today, just the warnings about the weather being really bad.  You can check out weather reports online, or subscribe to any number of other weather services if you just want to know whether to hang out the washing or not.

What we don’t post about

We are in the space of emergency management more than inconvenience management, so there will be a number of things you might think would be up our alley, but aren’t actually a thing that we deal with day to day, so we aren’t going to post about them.

Power outages - If there’s an outage in your suburb, we generally aren’t even going to know about it, it’s just business as usual work for the power network.  If it’s affecting a whole city or district, or is going to last a long time, we might get involved because that has a much greater impact when you can’t just pop over to your mate’s place to use their power. Of course your emergency supplies might well come in handy, but it’s not really an emergency, just an inconvenience.

Power outages information is available from

If your electricity has gone out, please contact your local electricity supplier (see your most recent power bill for contact information)

Water outages – Same goes for interruptions to your water supply, due to a burst water main or something similar. We might use this as an educational thing later – it’s a really good reminder of why you should have stored water, but we aren’t going to post about it at the time. 

Water outages information is available from

Road closures, train delays and other transportation issues  – unless a chunk of the region is isolated because State Highway 1 or 2 gets closed at a key location, eg Rimutaka Hill Rd, or Centennial Highway between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki, we are unlikely to post about local roads being closed.  Sure it might take you a bit longer than usual to get home, but that’s an inconvenience and not an emergency.  We also don’t post when the trains stop working or the airport closes due to fog or wind.  

Up to date information on the region's roads is available from the New Zealand Transport Agency - Wellington website.  

Local road information may be available from

Up to date information on regional transport services is available from Metlink website or thier information line 0800 801 700.

Of course, for all of these events, if they are happening as part of a bigger emergency event like a storm, earthquake or flood, we will be keeping you informed. There’s a lot of things which suddenly become our business when it gets to be beyond business as usual!

Social media is social, so join in the conversation

We love it when people comment and interact on our posts.  It’s what social media is all about.  But we do have some guidelines about the kinds of comments and posts to our page that we will delete, or maybe even block you for.

  • Inappropriate language – please don’t swear, we’re a family-friendly page!
  • Sexist, racist or defamatory comments, or just being plain mean to people.  That’s absolutely not on! 
  • Spam and malicious links – don’t go linking to dodgy websites, that’ll get you an immediate ban.
  • Commercial posts – unless you are one of our trusted partners that we do business with, don’t use our page to promote your products.

Social Media for emergency management

WREMO has developed a good practice guide for using social media in an emergency. 

Social Media for emergency management, 2014

Social Media for emergency management, 2014 (PDF, 1003 KB)

Social media is collection of online networks and virtual communities hosted by a variety of internet-based applications. Users are talking, informing, sharing, collaborating, and connecting online. Unlike traditional broadcast media, interaction is the heart of social media.