Chris Sorensen, Emergency Manager with the Kiowa County Division of Emergency Management, gave me a head's up on his recent use of Skype to provide storm updates in a live feed with ABC 13 KRDO (click on the video to watch). Now, armed with a laptop mic/cam, wireless connection and some initiative, these new tools, such as Skype can enhance emergency management responder's ability to operate and communicate from the office and field. More importantly, these tools are exponentially enhancing single-resource public information officers and emergency managers to communicate -- a game changer during these resource-lean times.
So, check it out. KRDO's and Chris's efforts provide a great example of using cost-effective tools, such as Skype - which supports free video/audio connections between Skype users, to help augment a community's emergency management communication efforts. Very cool and certainly worth considering securing this capability for your organization, even if just for a rainy (or snowy...) day need.
Like any tool, of course, the goal is to balance the tools utility against its cost-effectiveness and effort of integration against the ability to amplify your message to your audience.
For more, be sure to follow both @kcdem and KRDO Stormtracker_13 on Twitter.