Harnessing Social and Digital Media for Disaster Relief
The Red Cross is holding an “Emergency Social Data Summit” on Thursday August 12 “to bring together government agencies, emergency management professionals, disaster response organizations, tech companies and concerned citizens to address how to reply to these digital cries for help more effectively.”
The Red Cross has been receiving an increasing amount of “digital cries for help” via social media — Facebook, Twitter, etc. — and digital media (i.e. text messaging) during disaster situations. While these sources of social and digital media have helped organizations like the Red Cross expand their outreach, they aren’t prepared to deal with the growing number of citizens in need who are contacting them through these media outlets.
According to some research conducted by the Red Cross:
One in six (16%) have used social media to get information about an emergency.
More than half would send a text message to an available response agency if someone they knew needed help.
(Click here to view the Red Cross’ entire slideshow that displays their research conducted on social and digital media.)
I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated when the Red Cross releases the findings from their ‘emergency summit.’ While I think it’s an essential discussion for disaster-relief agencies like the Red Cross to have, I think, frankly, that this conversation about how to better utilize social and digital media is long overdue.
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