I have been asked to speak about the role of social media in emergencies at the “9th European Civil Protection Congress” in Bonn this week and thought this might be a good opportunity to put a few resources together.
The infographic on the right shows one of the reasons why, as a disaster manager, it is important to include social media into your response plan: because disaster affected people expect you to be on social media.
However, I have been asked to talk specifically about how digital volunteers can be better integrated into disaster response and disaster preparedness:
The 20 minutes long video you see below is a great place to start. In it, the Digital Media Manager of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria, Australia, talks about how the CFA has become more social and more community oriented through social media. I like this presentation because it is a practitioner talking about the reality on the ground. I also find it quite interesting to see how many of the attitudes and challenges he describes, are equally true for humanitarian organizations.
Staying in Australia, I can also highly recommend the social media case study from the Queensland Police that looks at the role of social media during the 2010/2011 floods.
Slightly more academic are the following two reports (h/t Kim Stephens):
- “Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management” is the output of a two days workshop that was organized by
FEMAthe Commons Lab at the Wilson Center. Reading it, it’s quite amazing to see how much has changed in a very short time, to the point where a fire chief is calling it “irresponsible” to not use social media.
- “Crowdsourcing in Government” looks at use cases beyond emergency management.
I’d also like two recommend to complimentary documents published as part of the “Digital Humanitarians” project and which help “formal” organizations work better with “informal” groups of volunteers:
- Guidance for Collaborating with Formal Humanitarian Organizations and
- Guidance for Collaborating with Volunteer & Technical Communities
What other documents or videos would you add? Please leave the in the comment section below.