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Social Media In Emergency Management Essay

3584 words - 15 pages

Social Media in Emergency Management
Matthew W. MacClellan
Webster University
SECR 5060 – Mr. Griffaw
July 8, 2012

Introduction 3
Technology 3
Four Phases of Emergency Management 4
How to Develop and Maintain a Social Media Site 4
Mitigation 6
Preparedness 8
Response 9
Recovery 12
Works Cited 15

Communications has evolved greatly since the days of using a rotary telephone connected to copper wires in order to communicate. Today nearly 50% of the population in the United States use smartphones daily. According to Frank N. Magid Associates that is a leading research-based consulting firm, Smartphone owners have increased from 31% in 2011 to ...view middle of the document...

Four Phases of Emergency Management
In order to take a thorough look at the use of social media in emergency management we must look at how social media supports and fits into the National Response Framework (NRF) and all four phases of emergency management; mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Mitigation is an important phase in emergency management because it deals with the means to reduce the impact of a disaster. The Preparedness phase is the sharing of information that helps the public become prepared for disaster and gain valuable information. Response is the actions taken to help save lives and property in a disaster and recovery is the efforts to restore the area as close to it was before the disaster as possible. Although technology has an enormous hand in enhancing all four phases of emergency management, technology is greatly enhanced thru social media applications and has become a critical tool for emergency management.
How to Develop and Maintain a Social Media Site
In order to begin using social media for emergency management, well thought out preparation must occur. According to FEMA’s training course IS-042 Social Media in Emergency Management there are a number of steps that must be followed to effectively develop a social media presence (unknown, IS-042 Social Media in Emergency Management, 2013). The first important step outlined in the course is the need for a strategy and desired outcome, which is important for any undertaking.
The second step and one that is very critical to success is the creation of a trial account. The ability to gain familiarity with the social media site without officially publishing things, once you are familiar you may then begin to officially roll the site out for the masses and begin to officially publish.
In order to maintain and establish policies and procedures a support structure must be established. Human resources and public announcement teams are viable sections that can have detailed duty descriptions that will allow unity of effort for both messages that are being sent and data collection from the site. Subject matter experts are extremely important to have and the use of current staff is a viable option to do so however, training of those individuals is critical to success. If at all possible, hiring personnel that are highly trained in this field is the best option but may be financially impossible. Social media is such a large part of the world’s communications that there are now extensive amounts of job listings for social media representatives. Some of the responsibilities that companies require of a social media representative are:
* Ability to create strong content
* Develop and maintain editorial calendars that are targeted to a specific audience
* Strong editorial skills
* Develop, implement, and lead social media campaigns to support the overall strategy
* Report to management on success metrics
Companies requiring these...

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