SoHum Awareness started as a Facebook page (and continues) on 27 March 2011. It was put together in a hurry when one of our locals roads (Briceland Road in Whittemore Grove) had slipped out and 100’s of people were cut off from town. The alternate route was precarious and the info was sporadic. So I (bobbi wisby) created SoHum Awareness Facebook page as a place to post critical information concerning those of us in Southern Humboldt. Namely, road conditions, slides and slipouts, earthquakes, power outages, floods, fires, extreme weather hazards, and other threats to our safety and ability to move around.
I immediately enlisted the help of local blogger and and photojournalist, Kym Kemp, who had been (and still is) the best source for local information on her blog Kym Kemp – Redheaded Blackbelt, and Estelle Fennell, former news director at KMUD, who is a news hound. Between them they had many of the contacts needed to keep us informed of the minute to minute happenings.
The Facebook page took off.. within a few days we had over 500 followers, and Briceland Road had been repaired.
Then the huge slide on California highway 101 just north of Redway (4 miles) closed Southern Humboldt off again. Only this time it wasn’t just a bunch of locals out in the hills who couldn’t get to town.. it was big rigs, gas, food, school buses, and thousands of people.
Again the influx of news on the slide, the repairs, photos, and most importantly the alternate routes on very mountainous, dangerous roads were the topics that grew this page to over a 1000 in less than 1 week.
That’s when the idea of having a ‘sister’ website was born. Mainly this website will act as an archive of the data from the Facebook page. It will keep current with the essential posts, have a gallery of photos from what ever incident is taking place, and often have posts from Kym Kemp’s blog duplicated here.
We will also be working closely with Mikal Jakubal, who started a Facebook page, SoHum Smart Response, on how to better use social media in times of disaster.
It is our hope that this website and the Facebook page will act as an Emergency Response center when things go very wrong in our community. ~bobbi wisby