The disaster desk was activated today to monitor a public safety incident when a building explosion happened in East Harlem. Volunteers monitored social media after building(s) collapsed at 116th St/Park Ave Manhattan. The disaster desk was activated by Alice at 11am. Volunteers monitored to confirm information and guide the public to officials in social media. @Metro-North transit was suspended due to debris field. The team shared information on texting “After a disaster, let your loved ones know you are OK – send a text saying IMOK #hmrd #EastHarlem” as well as from our partner Distress Helpline @distressline on finding emotional support.
Social Media Emergency Management (#SMEM) assessment: Information was quickly disseminated and shared by officials in all response areas including emergency management, fire, transportation, utilities and government accounts. #SMEM coverage was strong, however we would recommend a unified hashtag be selected across all official accounts quickly to better serve social media information management.
Active officials: @nycgov @nycoem @notifynyc @fdny @metroNorth @redcrossny @ConEdison
Event tags: #EastHarlemExplosion #harlemfire #explosion116 #116andpark #explosion #BuildingCollapse
Micro location tags: #NY #Harlem #manhattan #EastHarlem
Active disaster volunteers: Alice, Cindy, Aline, Lloyd and in social media @rvaregal @mshepley @LizLSchmidt1789
Many images emerged in social media. Some aerial photos and information about the drone can be read here
The desk was active for one hour monitoring for public safety and amplifying officials. Light duty coverage will continue during the day to update the public on location of shelters, transportation options and amplifying key instructions.