This weekend I will be giving a presentation on social media and emergency management at the EPA’s Hotzone conference in Houston, TX. The conference is for emergency responders to train them on how to respond in emergency situations. Last April I gave a talk at the the local emergency management conference in Albuquerque. This time the presentation will be much more in depth.
Social media and emergency management is a hot topic. It is a powerful tool for more than just communication. Social media can be used to verify events, find people, give real time reports, calm panic, answer questions and give the community an opportunity to participate in managing the emergency.
Since Michael Jackson died, Twitter has been breaking news faster and more consistently than any other news source. If something is happening, there is likely someone talking about it. Look at the Osama Bin Ladin raid and the tweeter who unwittingly reported it as it was happening.
Now there are channels, hashtags, twitter accounts and entire pathways devoted to reporting emergency situations. There are everyday people who monitor the hashtags using #wx in order to keep an eye, and help spread the word, on any weather watch activity.
Social medias integration into emergency management is saving lives and improving and facilitating communication. I am excited to give this presentation for the EPA.