Kenny Vigil
505-827-2619 Office
505-470-2290 Mobile

Training on Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery


On Tuesday, July 29th and Wednesday, July 30th, the New Mexico Department of Health, in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, will be hosting a course on the use of social media in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. This course is for a broad cross section of professionals involved in emergency management, planners, and communications and public information personnel.

Participants will be provided with skills so they can begin the conversation to implement social media into their current communication plans. Social media, when used effectively, can help people communicate and collaborate during events as they unfold.

While many attendees will be from New Mexico, one is traveling from Australia to attend this course. Matt Gould, an Online Systems Officer and Senior Deputy Captain with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, was awarded a 2013 Churchill Fellowship to examine the use of social media as a communication and intelligence gathering tool during fire and other emergency incidents. Gould’s research will take him across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands over six and a half weeks during July/August 2014.

While Gould is in New Mexico he will be meeting with state and local officials, firefighters, and individuals involved in the use of social media in emergencies. These meetings will help him explore the use of social media as a real time intelligence gathering tool, discuss experiences with emergency management practitioners and technology leaders.

Suzanne Frew, one of the developers of the course will be co-facilitating the course in Albuquerque. Frew began her disaster management career as a Public Information Officer and a Hazard Mitigation Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1990. In addition to disaster response activities, she developed and spearheaded new initiatives promoting community resilience such as Project Impact and innovative public-private partnerships. She brings her passion for integrating socio-cultural “human factors” into her specialization of cross cultural communication strategies and community engagement practices.

New Mexico will host two sessions of “Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery” July 29th and 30th at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Library beginning at 8:00 a.m.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Kenny Vigil at 505-827-2619 (Office) or 505-470-2290 (Mobile) with your questions.