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Social Media and Emergency Preparedness: Friend or Foe
Robert S. Fleming

Last modified: 2011-09-19


The growing presence and increased use of social media within contemporary society has transformed in many ways the methods and frequency with which individuals, groups, and organizations communicate.  While the specific social media utilized will likely evolve over time as will its capabilities, it is clear that social media as a communications platform, as well as its underlying technologies is here to stay.  Once a communication tool mainly used by the younger generation, the use of social media has grown and will continue to grow across the various demographical audiences. This presentation will examine the role of social media from an emergency preparedness perspective.  While public safety and emergency preparedness agencies continue to utilize more traditional means of disseminating information related to education, alerts, and notification such as press releases and press conferences, most in recent years have enhanced their communication effectiveness through the use of the Internet.  The use of websites and e-mail distribution lists are commonplace in most public safety organizations today.