I had a great opportunity this week to participate in a training give by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), organized by the local task force and funded by DHS. The subject was public information in a WMD situation, and it was really interesting. I’ll definitely talk more about it in the future.Today I wanted to talk about how I used my iPhone to help prepare for a mock press conference. A few weeks ago, I met Mike Staley (@MFStaley), a great CDC consultant in Atlanta where we talked about social media and other things, like our iPhones. Mike showed me the folder on his phone dedicated to response. What a great idea! When I got back to Philly, I immediately made my own folder (called Work). You can see a screenshot of it below. I can’t speak for how useful each of them are, and a bunch are links to websites that we use for work (emergency notification software, our website, email, and the ARC Safe and Well site, etc.). But the other ones are really cool. Two are free from the National Library of Medicine; Mobile REMM is a radiological reference book and WISER is the Wireless Information System For Emergency Responders, which has basic, and not so basic information on Chem, Rad and Bio threats. They’re also supposedly coming out with a Chem focused app later this year. I have the Emergency Radio app for listening to local police, fire and EMS radios and a NIMS reference book (which, frankly, I’m not totally in love with, but it’s nice to have available). Finally, and most usefully this week, was the GoodReader app. This is little more than a PDF reading app, but the nice thing is that you can store PDFs in it. I have stored three quick reference PDFs built by PDPH about chem, rad and bio threats including symptoms and treatment. (Truthfully, there are dozens of other quick reference sheets I could put in there, too.) During the training, we were put into groups and given a WMD scenario to use as preparation for a press conference we were to give. Our scenario was a blister agent release. Within minutes of seeing the symptoms, I was able to identify what it was, what was the prescribed treatment and what recommendations to give to the public who may have been exposed. Success! I’ll bet you’ve got an entire bookshelf of reference documents. Why not have a pocketful? If you’ve got a smartphone, it’s easy to do, and could be the most handy tool you have.