Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Marines did not ban social networking

Marines and Social Nets: We Goofed

Complete story here: http://whatsbrewin.nextgov.com/2009/08/marines_and_social_nets_we_goo.php

By Bob Brewin 08/07/09 05:27 pm ET
Despite more than 1,000 news reports to the contrary, the Marine Corps did NOT ban access to social network sites this week.

In fact, in a statement, the Marine Corps said, "Marines are encouraged to tell their stories on social networking sites, using personal accounts, remembering the importance of operational security and that they are Marines at all times."

So, how did news sites around the world, including Nextgov, erroneously report the Marines had banned access to sites such as such as Twitter, YouTube and MySpace?

The simple answer is that the collective "we" -- myself and all the other digit stained wretches who reported on the supposed ban -- were guilty of herd mentality, following and believing the Associated Press story linked above.

FEMA Encourages Personal Preparedness As Storm Activity Increases


Release Date: August 18, 2009Release Number: HQ-09-101
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the development of Hurricane Bill and other tropical activity, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging residents in hurricane-prone areas to take time now to develop a family disaster plan.

"The development of the season's first Atlantic hurricane is a reminder that every family needs to take steps now to prepare," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "FEMA and our local responders can't do it alone. Emergency response is a team effort, and the most important member of the national emergency response team is the public. That's why we are encouraging everyone to take a few simple steps now - like developing a family disaster plan to ensure that we are all prepared before the next storm strikes."

One of the most important steps individuals in impacted regions can take is to follow the guidance provided by local authorities. Additionally, FEMA recommends taking the following preparedness actions:

Prepare a disaster kit for your home: Stock up on non-perishable food and water to sustain you and your family for up to three days or longer. Ensure you have important papers (e.g. insurance, identification), first aid kit, a supply of prescription medicines and other specialty items in your preparedness kit. In addition, plan to have an emergency kit for your car in case you need to evacuate. While creating a disaster kit, pet owners should remember to pack the necessary items for their pets. Find more information on preparing your disaster kit at www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html.

Create an emergency plan: Know what to do if you have to evacuate. Make sure you know how to contact members of your family and have an emergency contact number for someone out of state that knows where you are in the event of an emergency.

Be informed: Know evacuation routes and listen to local authorities when asked to evacuate. Whether you live in a coastal community or inland, speak with your insurance agent now about flood insurance and review your homeowner's policy. Every state is at risk for flooding and homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a cost-effective way to financially prepare for floods. To learn more about your risk and flood insurance, visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/.

Learn more about preparedness by visiting http://www.ready.gov/.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.