Adapting to New Realities in Emergency Management: Resilience Through Social Media

The Conference Board of Canada, 12 pages, August 21, 2013
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Social media have changed communications in the past 10 years, including the way in which emergency management and disaster response operations are conducted. Emergency managers need to use social media's advantages to improve situational awareness and build community resilience.

Document Highlights

Social media have changed the face of communications in the past 10 years, including the way in which emergency management and disaster response operations are conducted. Emergency managers need to recognize, adapt, and integrate the advantages offered by social media. The public now expects emergency managers to use social media and has expectations about how managers will use these new media. Social media can be used passively but they also have the ability to mobilize people and data more quickly, receive requests for help, monitor user activities, and improve situational awareness.

The general public often sees information on social media as more reliable and credible than traditional media and can be accessed when these traditional methods of dissemination fail. Social media actively involves citizens and can strengthen resilience in communities. “Virtual” volunteers from around the world, brought together and coordinated by social media, can assist emergency responders and are an important element in community building and community resilience.

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