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My name is Doug Schmitt, see my landing page for more information about me. I first set up Doug’s Situation Room, while I was the Emergency Manager for Jefferson County Kansas, to help bridge the communication gap that exist in the lead up to events. Most major weather related disasters have contributing factors leading up to and adding to the severity of the event. Emergency Managers, for the most part, are aware of these factors as they happen but we really haven’t had a good tool to convey the increased risk to the public. Most warning systems are only activated when the situation is eminent.  I can’t sound the warning sirens a day ahead of the storm even though I have a pretty good idea that there will be a tornado within 50 miles of the County. This site allows me to convey that risk factor and in turn, you the reader, can take this increased awareness and make a difference in the outcome of the event.

Another major element of this project is the integration of social media with this site to increase situational awareness. This site is directly linked to a facebook page and a twitter account. All updates to this site are automatically pushed to both social media outlets. In addition I have set up different parsing services to provide different news stories directly to these outlets along with automated weather watch and warning posts.

Doug’s Situation Room continues to be a work in progress and will be for some time. I have had this site up since 2008 up under many different names and addresses as my focus has changed and my message has matured. I still have quite a few things that I want to do with this site as time allows and my knowledge grows.

For clarification purposes, I run quite a few automated services associated with this site that search the internet for stories containing specific keywords and automatically post them. I am not sitting here posting all of the content you see. The script is suppose to tag the bottom of the story with the source information, but depending on the host site this sometime doesn’t post the way I would like it to. The time I do spend with the site is usually tweaking the script to provide the best content I can.