Tsunami, Tornado or hurricane – some of our favourite social media platforms, especially the likes of Twitter and Facebook are radically transforming disaster relief efforts. They are serving thousands of citizens with a vital lifeline of information to make preparations ahead of a catastrophe, connect communities during the unfortunate event of a crisis, and to seek assistance in the aftermath.
The increased growth of smartphone usage around the world is making it so much easier to access timely and reliable weather alerts via social. Residents can check the weather to prepare and take necessary action. Even if power is lost, people can still access support. Social truly is saving lives and has become the go-to tool in emergency situations, helping people where traditional means of communication have become unavailable.
Take for example Hurricane Sandy which generated an influx of activity on Facebook and Twitter from citizens, left with just their mobiles as a means of communication. Social media filled the gaps for residents to seek assistance and engage with officials and loved ones to let them know that they were safe and sound.
Check out the infographic below to learn how social has already played an integral role in disaster relief and rescue:
Social Media, The New Face of Disaster Response from The University of San Francisco’s Online Masters of Public Administration