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Monday, May 10, 2010

"Say Cheese!"

Since the start of this blog many months ago, I’ve had one real lament and one enduring complaint. The lament is that we haven’t seen a whole lot of reader comments … throw us a bone here people! :)

The problem is my profile picture. It’s plain bad.

At the risk of sounding vain, it’s not what I’d call a fair or flattering depiction. Listen, Brad Pitt I am not, but I’ve had greater photogenic moments.

This objection does have something to do with emergency preparedness. It has to do with an item you that may not think belongs in an emergency “go kit” – family pictures.

Photos are powerful investigative tools that can help reunite families and reconnect lost relatives. Law enforcement has used images to track and apprehend lawbreakers on the lamb since before photography.

Conversely, today’s Internet, smartphones and Social Media are connecting people and leaching into many aspects of emergency management and education.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are proving their metal when it comes to public information and incident reconnaissance. As well, the "social" act of snapping, uploading and tagging a photo with keywords and GPS coordinates from a smartphone or computer could also hasten family reunification.

In terms of disaster preparedness, recent and accurate family photos (keep those of Dad costumed as the Phoenix Sun’s Gorilla for Halloween tucked away) are important pieces of an evacuation kit and a family communication plan. Good examples of photos to use might include this year’s school picture(s) or a team snapshot.

Keep your photos in a watertight pouch or portfolio along with dittos of your driver’s license and/or social security card, banking and home ownership documents, birth and marriage certificates, and insurance paperwork.

Pet owners. It’s good to pull snapshots of Fluffy or Fido for the same reasons. That Christmas card with the picture of the dog wearing reindeer antlers will do.

While we continue to marvel at new and unexpected uses of all things wired, I too will have to let go of the past, or maybe I'll just get off my keister and take a new profile picture.

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