An interesting article in the latest NFPA Journal looks at the rise of social media and its effects on emergency response and communication management; and provides some useful general social media crisis communications advice.
#Are You Prepared? highlights several natural disasters in which social media played a key role in keeping both the affected public and emergency responders informed. It also explains how FEMA established a ‘Hurricane Sandy Rumor Control’ website to counter false and misleading information circulating on social media during that disaster.
The article stresses how important it is for emergency and crisis management professionals to understand how social media works: "If social media is able to push out emergency information to critical audiences, we have to be able to use all of these tools," says Jo Robertson, chair of the NFPA 1600 Social Media Task Group and director of crisis preparedness for the chemical company Arkema. "Social media use is a reality. We all have to get past the notion that this is something we can ignore."