Infographic: Social Media Disaster Response

By Evan LePage | 2 years ago | No Comments

Infographic by the University of San Francisco.
Infographic by the University of San Francisco’s Masters of Public Administration program.

The tsunami in Japan; the earthquake in Haiti; Hurricane Sandy in the United-States.

These disasters, and many more like them, have in the past few years illustrated the wide applicability of social media in disaster response. Due to its broad reach and ‘un-wired’ nature, social media has become a go-to tool in emergency situations and natural disasters.

Twitter, Facebook and other social networks have been used for everything from fundraising to reaching people who are trapped, from communicating with rescue workers and the power company to letting family members know that their loved ones are safe and sound. Social media has helped people in ways traditional resources couldn’t.

The University of San Francisco’s Online Masters of Public Administration program recently released an infographic called “Social Media: The New Face of Disaster Response.” The infographic goes into more detail about how social media has been used in specific disaster response situations, and serves as strong evidence as to why it should continue to be used in the future.

Social Media in Disaster Response Infographic by the University of San Francisco.
Social Media in Disaster Response Infographic by the University of San Francisco.

For more resources on disaster response:

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Written by

Poetslife 5pts

I have been working for 5 years to get emergency managers to use social media before, during, and after a disaster. My latest article on this topic is, "Social Media Lessons from the Joplin, Missour Tornado" in the Journal of Civil Defense , 2012 Issue, Volume 45.

Fortunately, after helping the mayor and town admnistrator of my home town (Mount Airy, MD) write the emergency operations plan, the memorandum of understanding for local vandors, continuity of operations plan, etc. I was able to get them to set up a Twitter account and Facebook page. If disaster strikes, we will be in a better position to prepare, respond and recover with social media tools.

groblewis 5pts

A bit off-topic but worth discussion: mobile devices could be even better for disaster response with a modification. As it stands, they still depend on cell towers. They could be enabled to automatically configure themselves into a peer-to-peer mesh network that didn't depend on cell towers, to allow sending and receiving critical text messages even if the cell network is down.