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8 Ways Social Media Can Help Disaster Response Teams In A Hurricane

Date: 2016-11-21
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With the rise of social media we’ve also seen a rise in disaster-related responses during and after a crisis. Monitoring social media during a disaster has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’.

During Hurricane Sandy, more than 20+ million tweets were posted about the disaster.

iRevolutions calculates that "Even if only 0.001% of these tweets were useful, and only half of these were accurate, this would still mean over 1,000 real-time and informative tweets, or some 15,000 words. That is the equivalent of a 25-page, single-space document exclusively composed of fully relevant, actionable intelligence.”

Data61 has found there to be a strong relationship between actual physical damage and the corresponding response online. Analysing density of online activity in an area affected by a disaster could possibly even be more effective than FEMA’s existing methods for measuring damage, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Monitoring social media can also be really useful for increasing situational awareness for response teams. After a disaster strikes, many people are taking photos and videos of damage, some even capturing aerial footage from drones. All of these visual records can help responders to paint a picture of the destruction and survey damage before actually setting foot in the disaster zone. This additional situational awareness can be utilised to be better prepared for the conditions and to deploy resources more efficiently and effectively.

The infographic appearing on this page was created to show how social media can help disaster response during a hurricane. Click here or on the image at right to either download the infographic or open a copy in a separate window, then click again to enlarge it to fullsize version, at which time you can print it out on several pages of glossy or matte paper to serve as a poster in your EOC or elsewhere.

This article was brought to you by Steve Milligan, the VP of Product at Signal, the leading real-time, operational-focused open source intelligence solution for public safety.




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