Home > BLOG 4, Crisis Communication > Blog 4: Social Media in Disasters

Blog 4: Social Media in Disasters

As an avid social media user, I think that Facebook, Twitter and other social media resources could be very beneficial to use during a disaster response. Social media may be seen as a fad to many, however I believe that it’s changing the way that we can communicate to friends, co-workers, customers, etc. It’s a great resource to use, and I think that many people are fearful of accepting that it’s a growing tool in the world of communication.

As the video shows, social media is more than a fad. It’s a resource that must be utilized. At one point it mentions that “we no longer find the news, the news finds us.” I find this to be absolutely true. Personally, I find out the majority of my news through Twitter or Facebook. I follow a variety of news accounts all over the country and find that I hear about things quicker via online resources. Even with a group of friends I feel like if they tell me about something, they too have typically heard if first from a social media outlet.

The info-graph above shows how social media has been used in disasters in the past. This is a great depiction of how social media is already being utilized. As it continues to grow in popularity, so will the uses for it. YouTube can be used to show videos of evacuation processes or safety tips before the crisis occurs, while Twitter may be used before during or after. Facebook may be used in the same way. Of course the use of social media depends on availability, however that should not keep organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross for utilizing them and providing resources to those who do have access to social media.

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  1. November 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Interesting infographic, but what are your thoughts on how social media can be used during a disaster response? You discuss how social media is popular, and how people can get information via social media, but is that it? If so, is social media just a faster version of more traditional media (TV, radio)? Or is there something else unique about social media?

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