Social media use in emergency management

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Quick Facts

Publishing Organisation:
Clayton Wukich
Covers Thematic
  • Crisis communication Crisis communication is a strategic approach to corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event. When a crisis occurs, proactive, quick and detailed communication is critical.</br></br></br>Source:
  • Crowdsourcing Describes a distributed problem-solving model where the task of solving a challenge or developing an idea get “outsourced” to a crowd. It implies tapping into “the wisdom of the crowd”.</br></br>Source:DRS Glossary v2.0 LINKS 181220.xlsx
  • Target audience
  • Researchers research institutions and scientific communities
  • Audience experience level
  • Intermediate Those who currently use social media to communicate with the public and have developed a draft social media strategy, even if this is not thoroughly documented or communicated across the organisation</br></br>Source:
  • Disaster Management Phase
  • Before Comprises 'Preparedness Phase' and 'Prevention Phase'</br></br>Preparedness action is carried out within the context of disaster risk management and aims to build the capacities needed to efficiently manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transitions from response to sustained recovery.</br></br>Source:</br></br>Prevention (i.e., disaster prevention) expresses the concept and intention to completely avoid potential adverse impacts of hazardous events.</br></br>Source:
  • During Also referred to as "Response Phase"</br></br>Actions taken directly before, during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected.</br></br>Annotation: Disaster response is predominantly focused on immediate and short-term needs and is sometimes called disaster relief. Effective, efficient and timely response relies on disaster risk-informed preparedness measures, including the development of the response capacities of individuals, communities, organizations, countries and the international community.</br></br>Source:
  • After Also referred to as 'Recovery Phase'</br></br>The restoring or improving of livelihoods and health, as well as economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets, systems and activities, of a disaster-affected community or society, aligning with the principles of sustainable development and “build back better”, to avoid or reduce future disaster risk.</br></br>Source:
  • Mentions platforms
    • Issue: To identify and illustrate the range of strategies and tactics available for emergency managers using social media.
    • This study uses content analysis of more than 80 related journal articles, research reports, and government documents as well as more than 120 newspaper articles, identified through LexisNexis search queries.
    • Three strategies, information dissemination, monitoring real-time data, and engaging the public in a conversation and/or crowdsourcing, are available to emergency managers to augment communication practices via face-to-face contact and through traditional media outlets.
    • Academic research has identified several message types disseminated during response operations.
    • Message types during other emergency phases have received less attention; however, news reporting and government reports provide best practices and inform this study.
    • This article provides the foundation for a more complete typology of emergency management messages. Relatedly, despite limited attention in the academic research, monitoring social media feeds to accrue situational awareness and interacting with others to generate a conversation and/or to coordinate collective action also take place in various forms and are discussed.
    • Findings integrate the fragmented body of knowledge into a more coherent whole and suggest that practitioners might maximize outcomes through a three-step process of information dissemination, data monitoring, and the direct engagement of diverse sets of actors to spur risk reduction efforts.
    • However, these steps require time, personnel, and resources, which present obstacles for agencies operating under conditions of personnel and resource scarcity.

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