Minutes after disaster strikes, we want to make sure that we and our immediate family members are safe. But once the danger subsides, we check Facebook for status updates of friends, family and neighbors, get tweets about available shelters, and post Instagram photos once the storm has passed.
In fact, the internet is the third most popular way people get emergency information. With more than 66 percent of adult online users connected to at least one or more social media platforms, emergency management agencies are incorporating social media into their response strategies.
WakeMed has live Twitter and Facebook feeds to provide critical updates, tips and information.
The American Red Cross recently unveiled a new mobile phone app that features a one-touch “I’m safe” button to allow users to access social media to let family and friends know they are okay.
Ready Wake, a joint information project of Wake county towns, cities, and community partners, uses Twitter to provide safety tips and real-time shelter updates.
The US Department of Health and Human Services created two Facebook apps, bReddi and Project: Lifeline, that allow users to share information and get support from their social networks. bReddi features a summary page of the latest threats and can alert users and anyone part of their network via text, e-mail and Facebook of threat level changes. Project: Lifeline allows users to determine their communications network, update their status and keep friends informed, and find resources to stay safe.
Logon, download and get more prepared today.
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. It’s a great time to get information about all of the available tools and resources, including social media, to help you and your family make a plan, build a kit and stay informed during an emergency. Make sure to check out additional related posts on this blog as well by searching emergency preparedness.
Barb Bisset is the executive director of the WakeMed Emergency Services Insitute.