Significance of Social Media for Disaster Management
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Significance of Social Media for Disaster Management

Gov CIO Outlook | Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Social media has significantly impacted how the public prepares for, plans for, and recovers from disasters.

Fremont, CA: People no longer need to learn about current events halfway across the globe by reading the newspaper the following day. It is now easily possible to learn about events as they occur, and people are just beginning to realize how valuable the speed of information truly is. When other sources of communication are rendered inaccessible by a natural disaster, social media will still exist and be readily available. If everything else fails, individuals still have cell phones with internet connections and downloadable programs. As a result, social media has gained importance in disaster preparedness, recovery, and relief efforts.

Social media before a disaster

There are apparent ways to prepare for an imminent disaster, such as securing your home and stockpiling nonperishable food and water. Then there are less obvious ways to prepare, such as using social media. Using social media, cities and local officials construct public Emergency Preparedness pages that community members may follow to receive the most recent news and updates. Residents should follow their local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and news outlets on social media to stay informed. There are numerous applications (apps) for cell phones that can be useful in the event of a crisis.

Social media during a disaster

When calamity hits, mayhem ensues, and having a strategy in place beforehand can bring peace of mind to a situation that would otherwise be chaotic. Social media provides law enforcement, officials, and the general public with real-time information, as well as your friends and family. People share images and videos of a calamity occurring in real-time. Frequently, the material found on social media is accessible to the public before news stations and newspapers can publish it.

During a disaster, officials use social media to inform the public where assistance is available and when they aim to reach affected areas. Any images or videos shared on social media networks help document the damage and find survivors. Before entering, these visuals alert emergency responders to the gravity of the situation.

Social media after a disaster

After a natural disaster, social media is utilized to assist people in locating their loved ones, pets, and even lost items. As many will need clothing, nonperishable food, and a secure place to stay, it also informs the public about donation drives and relief money. Businesses may use social media profiles to inform their clients, customers, and suppliers of their status. In addition, they can use their online presence to inform the public of their plans and timeframe for rebuilding, relocating, and reopening.

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