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Environmental Health and Safety hosts FEMA social media courses

workshop attendees on laptops

Public safety leaders from around Illinois attend FEMA’s advanced social media courses in January.

Environmental Health and Safety hosted a series of FEMA social media courses at Illinois State University in mid-January.

The courses, targeted at local governments and public safety organizations, presented basic and advanced concepts of the importance of using social media in emergency management. Specifically, participants learned numerous strategies to engage the community before, during and after emergencies. These techniques are especially important for the University since a vast majority of our community maintains a regular presence on social media networks.

interview of instructor

WMBD-TV interviews instructor Kevin Sur regarding the importance of engaging constituents on social media before, during and after emergencies

Members of the University’s Social Media Analysis and Response Team (SMART), the ISU Police Department, and Environmental Health and Safety attended the courses. Joining them were representatives from throughout Illinois, including Bloomington, Normal and McLean County.

Illinois State is one of the first sites in the nation to host the advanced courses, which were recently certified by FEMA. These new courses come a little more than a year after ISU hosted FEMA’s foundations social media in natural disasters course. In March, the University will host a foodborne illness emergency training session, which will attract food safety and public health professionals from around the region.

These offerings represent a concerted effort by EHS to attract relevant, high-quality education opportunities that benefit not only the University, but also our numerous partners.

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