The purpose of this paper is to show how Social Media can be used to support an effective disaster response. The research comes primarily from news articles, academic articles, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports. Contained in this paper are examples of how Social Media has been used in past disasters as well as the potential uses of Social Media in managing future disasters. The strengths of Social Media include: allowing for
instant communication, the ability to reach a broad audience, and direct communication between disaster management organizations and those affected by the disaster. These strengths are compared to the its limitations, such as certain demographics not using Social Media, the speed with which rumors can spread, and the unrealistic expectations people may have of Social Media during disasters. The conclusion of this paper is that Social Media is overall an invaluable tool in disaster management.
By Eric T. White, Student Intern, TWC/UNH
International Institute of Global Resilience
August 14, 2014
The Application of Social Media in Disasters- How can Social Media Support an Effective Disaster Response?