Social Media in Emergencies – a few good starting points

How Americans use Social Media in Emergencies

How Americans use Social Media in Emergencies. Source: American Red Cross

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):

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:

What other documents or videos would you add? Please leave the in the comment section below.