In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Good Article On Social Media’s Role, Potential In Disaster Situations

March 26th, 2009 · No Comments

 In the January issue of Science, there is a nice feature on the use of social media in responding to disasters. (Thanks to my friend Jimmy Jazz for bringing it to my attention.) The article, “Crisis Communications” by Lea Winerman, covers some recent examples — the Virginia Tech shooting, Southern California fires, and Chinese earthquake — where social media played a significant role during an emergency situation. The article looks at the tension between the traditional top-down emergency communication of government with the new decentralized social media capability of citizens — and offers some ideas of how to integrate them in the future. (Increasingly, as can be seen now during the North Dakota floods, governmental authorities, such as FEMA, are employing these social media tools as well.)

This Google map ‘mashup’ during the San Diego fires of October, 2007 included locations of fires, emergency services and meeting points for evacuees. It was posted on the website of KPBS, the local National Public Radio station, which served as a central information source during the fires combining official reports with citizen input coming in from all over the area through social media such as Flickr and Twitter.

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Tags: Media · Preparedness 2.0

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