Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Case study - Twitter's use in emergency management

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now regularly using Twitter and other online channels to supplement offline media when providing emergency announcements and information.

This has meant more than simply setting up a Twitter account and sending messages, the agency has invested in training videographers and educating staff on how to use new media effectively to inform the public.

This has been covered in a case study released by FEMA in its website, FEMAinfocus: FEMA Twitter Media Availability with Administrator Paulison.

In this FEMA describes Twitter as,
The social media tool Twitter www.twitter.com (which FEMA uses under the account femainfocus) is a free web-based interface that allows for cell phone messaging to be distributed to large audiences. Thus, the tool works well for FEMA to promote individual preparedness and information avenues.

NextGov has also covered FEMA's use of social media in the article, FEMA takes open approach to social media.

Combined it provides a clear picture of how Twitter and other social media tools can be valuable in emergency situations.

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