Oregon VOST Info

The Oregon VOST is managed and endorsed by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

• Virtual Operations Support Teams can be utilized for situational awareness for all hazards.

• During emergencies there is an overwhelming amount of information generated by the public on social media and online forums.

• VOST filters out the unnecessary information and provides pertinent information to decision makers.

• VOST is a way for emergency managers to harness the growing number of communication outlets and utilize them to spread consistent messages to the public.

• By monitoring social media, inaccurate information and rumors can be dispelled quickly.

• The VOST can also help amplify official information and direct traffic back to the official source(s).

• VOST is helping get official messages out in a timely and accurate way.

• By utilizing social media, communication professionals can use VOST reports to craft messages that will best serve the public.

• Distributing accurate and timely information can save lives.

• The Oregon VOST monitors social media and online discussion forums during disasters to maintain situational awareness.

• This information can also be used by emergency management planning, operations, and law enforcement.

Most recent Oregon VOST activations:

• 2015 Wildfire Season • 200+ hours

• UCC Shooting • 250+ hours

• After seeing the benefits of VOST, interest in VOSTs is growing throughout the state.

• Often times VOST is seeing information nobody else is seeing and it is helping us get answers to the public.

• VOST helps official sources with rumor control.

• During UCC we were able to direct the public to the best places to donate and also find scams or potential scams.

• We were able to find out where gatherings or protests were. It was a tremendous help for local law enforcement.

• It was a great advance planning tool at the local level for gatherings, funeral, and other public events that followed the Roseburg shooting.

• The reports were so useful that when we demobilized our Public Information team on the 9th, local, state, and federal partners who were still responding asked for VOST reports to continue. Monday was the last report.


 

Oregon VOST training and activation history:

May 5th, 2015: First official training at Oregon Office of Emergency Management in Salem.

June 17th, 2015: Training both in Salem and via webinar

July 28th, 2015: Training both in Salem and via webinar

August 16th , 2015: Oregon Wildfires 2015 activation

October 1st , 2015 – Umpqua Community College activation


 

• Oregon VOST is recruiting! If interested in joining the Oregon VOST Team, please fill out this form.

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About @sct_r

I like to help people and communities through all phases of disaster: planning, preparation, response, recovery, mitigation - and now also engaging in social media. Active in my own community in CERT, Amateur Radio and Long-Term Recovery, learning to engage in the social media/disaster community as well. Past president of Oregon VOAD. Instructor, NDPTC "Social Media for Natural Disaster Response and Recovery" course (FEMA PER-304), Team Lead for Oregon VOST, FEMA Digital Communications Specialist (DCSP), Reservist, External Affairs Cadre. Thanks for your interest. -sr
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