During natural disasters, social media is used to help people locate loved ones who are stranded or trapped. For example, in Nepal during the earthquake and tsunami, Facebook activated a special feature called Safety Check which helped friends and family locate their loved ones and alert them of their location. This was done in conjunction with the Disaster Message Board barder.
The use of social media during a disaster increases the need for disaster management agencies to develop an effective communication strategy to disseminate critical information. This requires the creation of a social media messaging template that includes established Emergency Emergency Information (EEI) criteria. In addition, a social media messaging template should be flexible and adaptable to the platform the agency uses jigaboo.
Standardized EEI criteria for disaster-related social media messages should be established in the pre-disaster period by the local EM agency, Hub Coordinator and stakeholder organizations participating in the Communication Hub. This will guide the content of a social media messaging template and the agency’s social media policy distresses.
When social media is used in a disaster, the messaging should be geared toward providing public updates and alerting them to specific places to turn for assistance. This could include road closures, shelter locations, designated help areas and more.
However, social media can also be a source of rumor and misinformation during disasters. Therefore, a robust social media monitoring and analysis program needs to be implemented by EM officials to monitor the public’s social media usage to prevent the spread of false or misleading information. This can require significant human resources and resources to implement a successful monitoring program precipitous.
In addition, EM agencies must ensure that they are not creating a barrier to disaster-related communications for vulnerable populations who might not be able to receive critical disaster-related information via social media due to limited access to smartphones and internet. For example, older adults and individuals with low socioeconomic status may not have access to smartphones or portable digital devices needed to receive disaster-related social media messaging mypba.
The public expects to be able to receive information quickly and rumors can easily spread on social media during a disaster, which requires EM agencies to provide timely and accurate information to the public. Moreover, EM officials should be aware of the possibility that individuals who post disaster-related information on social media might have ulterior motives to deceive or injure the public.
For example, a social media scammer might create a fake relief fund to take money from individuals in need of aid. The scammer might also use a fake account to communicate with the victim and lure them into providing personal information or making a donation.
This can be a serious issue during a natural disaster, as it may lead to further harm and even death. This can be avoided by using the right channels and connecting with the proper groups and people beforehand.
The California Drought Task Force utilized a wide variety of social media platforms to inform the public of drought-related issues and amplify their messaging. These efforts, in turn, increased the visibility of their organization and their disaster-related information.