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August 16, 2011
Emergency Communication Via Mobile Devices
 
PR people, especially those specializing in crisis communication, need to pay heed to the Federal Communication Commission's "NG9-1-1 for Next Generation 911 Services" announced a week ago. We don't entirely follow this acronym-packed Broadcast Engineering story, but the new standard apparently will allow transmission of text, photos and video via mobile devices during emergencies.

“This new technology and service will turn mobile devices into emergency alert devices with potentially life-saving messages when public safety is threatened,” FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said at an Association of Public-Safety Communications conference in Philadelphia. “NG9-1-1 is an emergency response system that will run on the broadband networks of the 21st century, instead of the circuit-switched copper networks of the 20th century.”

Sounds pretty epochal for emergency response folks.

Meanwhile, officials are learning the potential of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media as channels for emergency information.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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