In the aftermath of Hurrican Sandy – aka Frankenstorm – I’ve affirmed a couple different things. First, east coast superstorms are real and no state or city is ever really “safe” from having a natural disaster come their way. Second, social media is king when it comes to getting the most information in a state of emergency.
I think when it comes down to it, nothing beats major news networks like feet on the street reporters. Like our local WHIO eye witness reports, each one of us has the power when it comes to sharing information that is most relevant to those in our local areas. Many of us are already active on social channels – such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We’re already sharing photos and status updates with our friends and family, and often its the only way to communicate when power lines are down.
As one tweeter says:
Social media often times also helps speed up recovery efforts. It puts those in charge in contact with those on the scene. Probably the most powerful of all communication tools, in my opinion, social sharing is the most valuable and most effective because it allows us to share and take information from those whom we are familiar with – those whose opinions matter the most.
Here are some tips when engaging with others during a natural disaster:
- On Twitter, make sure you find out and use what the hashtag is. For example, #Sandy – so that others can easily follow. You may also want to add a hashtag to your location – #Dayton – so people who are monitoring what happens in a particular area know exactly where you’re tweeting from
- On all social channels, be smart about what information you’re sharing. Fact check it. Nothing is worse than sharing false information when it can spread so quickly through social.
- No one likes photoshopped photos. Be authentic and transparent
- Don’t be selfish. Put more information up than what directly affects you. In times of crisis, people want to help and need you to tell them how to best do that.
What are some ways you’ve used social media during a natural disaster?