Archive for November 19th, 2013

Social Media and Disasters: Just as Important for Survival as Food/Shelter

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Facebook takes over the world.

Facebook takes over the world.

Social media continues to change our lives in myriad unexpected ways. Survival may not be the first application that comes to mind when you think of Twitter or Facebook, but the truth is that these and other social media outlets can make a big difference in disasters. For instance, during Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, 20,000 tweets were sent per second. Likewise, in its 2013 National Preparedness Report, FEMA reported that “users sent more than 20 million Sandy-related Twitter posts, or “tweets,” despite the loss of cell phone service during the peak of the storm.“ Social media sites help bridge communication gaps when cell phone service isn’t available. And these services are shifting disaster management from a one-way affair, with officials broadcasting announcements, to a conversation between disaster survivors, emergency agencies, and people all over the country.

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