National studies have confirmed that citizens are relying more and more on social media, online news sources, smartphones and other mobile devices during emergencies and disasters to better understand what’s going on around them. Now, St. Clair County wants to hear from the community and talk about ways local emergency managers can better engage with the public through social media. If you live or work in St. Clair County and currently use the Internet to search for breaking news; turn to Twitter to listen to what people are saying about a common event; or if you engage in conversation with your friends and family via Facebook; you are invited to participate in a facilitated, community conversation about social media and emergencies. St. Clair County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is seeking 30 people to join them on April 17, 2012 from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM to discuss this new emerging trend and explore ways the technology savvy public would like to learn about and share disaster information in the future. Participants will hear a brief presentation from a FEMA-sponsored researcher and will engage in interactive dialogue to help guide local officials with their thoughts and opinions on potential social media strategies for the Blue Water area. This event is open to all St. Clair County residents and workers who actively or occasionally use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. To ensure candidates have some existing knowledge on social networking technologies and applications, candidates will be asked a few questions then notified of acceptance or denial within 7 days. If you would like to register to participate in the Social Media for Emergencies Focus Group, please contact Jodi Simpson at 810-989-6326 or email@example.com. Space is limited, so please register early if you’d like to attend.