The Samoan Government and Samoa HEAL, with the support of UN-SPIDER, ran a simulation of early warning and emergency response to a cyclone in Samoa on December 2 – 3 2011. On December 2, the simulation focused on a traditional table top exercise. On December 3, the simulation involved VTCs, exploring how their contributions could compliment a traditional response. Open Street Map, GIS Corps, Humanity Road and the SBTF all carried different roles in this part of the simulation, interfacing with Samoa HEAL as necessary.
The SBTF was tasked to find simulation injects in social media channels, create reports, categorize them and map them. The SBTF deployed four teams (see below) for a period of eight hours. Over 40 volunteers participated in the simulation, with five teams deployed (email, reports, geo-location, translation and tech).
By the end of the simulation, there were 257 reports in the system, with 14 unapproved (all of which needed geolocation or more information in order to be approved). 199 messages were left to process received via identified twitter hashtags, most of which were spam, unactionable or from December 2 (prior to the simulation). There were 96 emails collected, some 90% of them were processed, the rest was identified as unactionable. Of the 700 injects generated for the simulation, 650 were found.
Throughout the simulation, volunteers kept an informal “wash-up” google doc to record thoughts / concerns. We have since gone through this document, adding the workflows used by each team, the results of a survey to volunteers and additional comments from the SBTF coordinators that led teams in the simulation. The report can be viewed here, and we would welcome any additional comments (you can leave them directly on the google doc). As always, simulations are a great way to introduce new volunteers to the SBTF and to review our internal workflows. Our thanks to all the simulation organizers for inviting us to take part!