What is a VOST?

A VOST is a team of trusted agents who lend support via the Internet to those on-site who may otherwise be overwhelmed by the volume of data generated during a disaster.


VOST - Virtual Emergency Support Team

SMEM - Social Media and Emergency Management

There are a number of different sites that contain good information about social media and emergency Management:

  • Virtual Operations Support Group - VOSG is an on-line support and coordination resource used by many of the global VOST groups.
  • iDisaster 2.0 - A great blog by Kim Stephens on social media usage within the emergency management space. 
  • Virtual EMA - This group is guiding a lot of the coordination between developers and the emergency management community.
  • Emergency 2.0 Wiki - A good source for many things around emergency management and social media.


Colorado VOST

I have been working with the COVOST for the last year. The team has been activated for a number of different events ranging from a presidential debate to the Planned Parenthood shooting. The team is tasked with monitoring the different social media services to help provide situational awareness to the Emergency Managers and Incident Command Staff coordinating the response.

More information about COVOST can be found here.