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TEDxNOLA - Sara Estes Cohen - Preparedness and Social Media

Born and raised in New Orleans, Sara Estes Cohen worked as a freelance writer and publicist for Infectious Music, representing groups such as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Radiators, and Ellipsis until August 2005. After Hurricane Katrina, Sara moved to Los Angeles to obtain her master's degree in public policy and emergency management at UCLA. For her thesis, entitled "Using Social Media for University Emergency Communications," Sara worked with UCLA to develop a model for universities to leverage social media to communicate with students before, during, and after crises.For the past four years, Sara has focused on planning, preparing for, and mitigating against the consequences of disasters with universities, federal, and local government agencies. She has spoken on the importance of leveraging social media for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery at several conferences, including the George Washington University Emergency Communications Symposium in 2008 and the Virginia Governor's Campus Emergency Preparedness Summit in August of 2009 and 2010. Sara currently works for G&H International Services, Inc. in Washington, D.C., supporting the Department of Homeland Security First Responder Communities of Practice, a professional networking, project collaboration, and resource repository platform for vetted members of the first responder and public safety community. The online platform allows its members to discuss and share information on emergency planning and preparedness, response, and recovery.About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.) About TED TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at
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