Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management

Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies

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Features

  • Covers popular social media technologies and applications that are freely available—including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
  • Contains case studies that illustrate the various ways social media can help emergency managers save lives
  • Identifies best practices unique to incident and disaster management
  • Introduces collaborative mapping tools that can be customized to readers' specific needs
  • Explores free and open-source disaster management systems, such as Sahana and Ushahidi

Summary

Although recent global disasters have clearly demonstrated the power of social media to communicate critical information in real-time, its true potential has yet to be unleashed. Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies teaches emergency management professionals how to use social media to improve emergency planning, preparedness, and response capabilities. It provides a set of guidelines and safe practices for using social media effectively across a range of emergency management applications.

Explaining how emergency management agencies can take advantage of the extended reach these technologies offer, the book supplies cutting-edge methods for leveraging these technologies to manage information more efficiently, reduce information overload, inform the public, and ultimately save lives. Filled with real-world examples and case studies, it is an ideal self-study resource. Its easy-to-navigate structure and numerous exercises also make it suitable for courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

From crowdsourcing and digital volunteers to mapping and collective intelligence, Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies facilitates a clear understanding of the essential principles of social media. Each chapter includes an example of a local-level practitioner, organization, or agency using social media that demonstrates the transformative power of social media in the real world. The book also includes numerous exercises that supply readers with models for building their own social media sites and groups—making it a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the communication and information structures supported by social media.

Visit the author’s homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/conniemwhite/Home

Table of Contents

Why Social Media?
Introduction
What Is Social Media?
Who Uses Social Media?
What Can Social Media Do for Practitioners?
What Does Top Management Think?
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
     Six Safety Tips to Follow When Using Social Network Sites
Trash In, Trash Out
Onsite Contributions
Case Studies
Exercises
Technical Notes
Five-Minute Tutorials

Designing Social Media Sites for Emergency Management: Back to Basics
Introduction
Functions of Social Media
Level of Government
Identify Goals
User Roles and Permissions
     Administrators 
     Guests 
     Participant 
     Officers
Groups
Keywords and Hashtags
Disabilities and Vulnerable Populations
Comprehensive Emergency Management Approach
Citizen Engagement: To Use or Not To Use
Applications
Logins and Passwords
Conclusion
Exercises
Summary

Social Sites for Group Support: Facebook
Introduction
What Can Social Sites Do To Support Group Communications and Information Sharing?
What Can Facebook Do for Practitioners?
Communication
Types of Group Support 
     Open Groups 
     Closed Groups 
     Secret Group
One Way or Two Way Communications?
     One Way 
     Two Way
Chat
Categorizing
What Sort Information Do You Share?
What Can You Do and How Do You Do It?
Get Donations
How Much Is Enough?
Smart Technology
Partnering
Who to Partner with?
Pavlov and Notifications
Case Study
Talladega National Superspeedway
     Twitter
     Dissemination of Useful Information from Experts 
     Facebook 
     E-mail 
     Mapping Information through Social Media 
     YouTube
Case Questions
Summary
Tutorial
Video 1
Video

Twitter and Microblogging: The Basics
Introduction
Definitions
You Have Created an Account, Now What?
What to Tweet about?
What to Tweet from a Practitioner’s Point of View
Best Practices 
     Too Much Tweeting Is a Turn Off
     Too Little Tweeting 
     Same Subject 
     Organizing Tweets 
     ReTweeting 
     Technique for Reducing Tweets
GeoLocation Devices
NOAA Twitter Case 
     Case Example Exercise 
     Tweet the Heat: A Collaborative Tracking Project
Rules
Exercises

Design Strategies: Twitter for Teams and Information Exchange
Introduction
Case Study 
     Case: Storm Chasers
One-to-Many; Many-to-One
     Original Log of Transactions of Team
     How Can the Original Prior Transcript Be Implemented By Using Twitter? 
     Six Twitter Accounts Are Required 
          Following 
     How Tweeting Would Be Implemented for the Case
     Added Benefits to This Particular Case
Creating a Flow Diagram for Crisis Communications
Complex Group Support
Twitter Is Over Capacity
Summary
Exercises

Collaboration and Document Management
Introduction
Collaboration
Social Media Reduces Information Overload
Groups of Experts Sharing Information
e-Mail
Tasks
Word Files, Presentations, and Spreadsheets
     Open Office 
     Google Documents, Presentations, and Spreadsheets
Forms and Spreadsheets
An Example Form for Resource Aggregation
Slideshare
Skype
Wikis
Doodle and Scheduling
QuestionPro
Collaborative Tools and Community Resilience 2.0
How to Engage with the Public
Summary
On Book Website 
     Managing Documentation for Emergency Management Purposes
          authorStream Video Lecture
          Five-Minute Tutorials
Exercises

Visuals, Mapping, and Disaster Management Systems
Introduction
Photography
Video
Equipment
Web Sites
Sharing
Publishing
PowerPoint with Narration
Jing
YouTube
Streaming Live Video
Statistics
Keywords
Mapping, Collaboration, and Collective Intelligence 
     Google Maps 
     Google Earth 
     Collaborative Mapping
Open Source and Communities of Practice
     RHoK
     Crisis Mappers 
     OpenStreetMaps 
     Wikimapia
Free Web-Based Disaster Management Systems
Haiti Earthquake Case Study
Free and Open Source Disaster Management Systems
Ushahidi
Summary
Exercises
     Team Assignment:
          Part I: Paper Submission
          Part II: Video Submission 
     Problem

Free and Open Source Software: The Building Blocks of Customization
Introduction
Summary

Testing the System: Knowing When to Use or Not Use Social Media
Introduction
An Online Social Media Exercise in Emergency Response
Some Challenges of Social Media 
     Aggregating Information 
     Marketing Your Social Identities 
     Stakeholder Acceptance
Best Practices, Considerations, and Observations
     Consider the Tech Savvyness of Population 
     Some Best Practices
Conclusion     
     Book Online Site Extras
Exercise: Create a Unified Site; Aggregating Information

Index

Author Bio(s)

Connie White earned her PhD in Information Systems from the College of Computing Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. White is a Research Fellow in the Crisis Communications Research Project, School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago, Illinois. She is also the director of Information Technology Solutions for Emergency Management (ITSFEM), an education and consultation firm. She has published work in the Journal of Emergency Management (JEM), The International Association of Emergency Manager’s Bulletin (IAEM), and the International Journal for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRA M).

Her current work explores how collaborative applications, social media, Free and Open Source Systems, and Web 2.0 technologies can be leveraged together to support the decision-making needs of crisis managers. Another research focus is in using spatial-temporal geographical information systems and social media to help provide information on the outer rural areas that have the least amount of connectivity through crisis mapping. Other research efforts explore using virtual worlds, such as Second Life, as a teaching tool for practitioners. Her dissertation, A Dynamic Delphi System to Support Decision Making by Large Groups of Crisis Management Experts, focused on the creation of a crisis management system that is used by large groups dispersed geographically where decisions must be made under uncertainty and among domain driven subgroups. The end result of this effort produced an application contributed to the Sahana Disaster Management System, Eden, a free and open source system created in response to the Asian tsunami (which has been used all over the world), most recently in the Haiti earthquake response, and the floods of Pakistan. Her research interests include social media, decision making, scales, Sahana, Thurstone’s law of comparative judgment, artificial intelligence, and emergency management. Her homepage is http://sites.google.com/site/conniemwhite/

Editorial Reviews

"There are gems throughout the book. The exercises at the end of each chapter are valuable if this book is used as a text (strong recommendation from the experience of several courses in EM and homeland security) in a course on crisis communication or emergency management or by an agency as a self-assessment of implementation. One of the strongest parts of this book is the input from field practitioners. I offer to you a book to be read and not to become another bookshelf dust target."
—Dean Larson, Ph.D., CEM, in IAEM Bulletin

"This book offers a unique look into the world of emergency management through the prism of social media. To achieve this perspective, the author infused her work with contributions from more than a dozen professionals in emergency management and information technology. The result is a comprehensive guided tour … would benefit managers or directors in the safety, security, or emergency management field who are looking to venture into the world of social media."
Security Management Magazine

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