A lot of major cities and countries have started to use social media in times of emergency as a way to communicate to the public faster than the normal news alert on T.V. Social media reaches a larger group a lot faster than a news report or a radio broadcast which makes it a valuable asset in times of disaster or conflict.
Before social media an amber alert would be announced when a child goes missing and people listening to the radio would have to wait to get home before they knew what they child looked like, social media has changed that in the way that it gets the picture and the message out there all at once to hundreds of millions of people within seconds. Social media saves precious moments between the police finding the kid or not.
As Heather Hamilton from the EIA told us, it’s a faster way to communicate to the masses without fear of the whole network shutting down from too much traffic (while several websites have the problem with crashes, social media has somehow figured it out for the most part) and it get’s the word out there to a larger demographic than just the people who watch the news.
“By the time Hurricane Sandy slammed the eastern seaboard last year, social media had become an integral part of disaster response, filling the void in areas where cell phone service was lost while millions of Americans looked to resources including Twitter and Facebook to keep informed, locate loved ones, notify authorities and express support.” Dina Fine Maron has a point in this article, she talks about the changed our disaster response plan, but for the better as it helps us to locate lost loved ones and helps us find out where people need supplies and attention the most in the fastest way possible.
In class seminar from Heather Hamilton of the Edmonton International Airport.
Maron, D. (June 7th, 2013). How Social Media Is Changing Disaster Response. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-social-media-is-changing-disaster-response/
By: Dexter Hanas