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Topic Collection: Social Media in Emergency Response

Recent disasters have highlighted the level to which affected communities (and beyond) use social media to communicate about several issues including, but not limited to the following: their status and whereabouts, where and how to locate shelter and supplies, how to report to areas that need volunteer support, and strategies for obtaining medical care. The resources in this Topic Collection highlight research, lessons learned, and promising practices from recent events.

This ASPR TRACIE Topic Collection is in the process of being developed and comprehensively reviewed. If you have resources to recommend for inclusion in this Topic Collection, specifically illustrative examples, plans, tools or templates, please email your recommendations to askasprtracie@hhs.gov.

Topic Collection (PDF - 442.9 KB)

Ambinder, E., Jennings, D., Blachman-Biatch, I., et al. (2013). The Resilient Social Network. @occupysandy #SuperstormSandy. Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute.

The authors researched and developed a case study on the impact of the group "Occupy Sandy" (which grew from the Occupy Wall Street movement), the Twitter handle "@OccupySandy" and hashtag "#SuperStormSandy” used to share information about the storm via social media.
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Bernier, S. (2013). Social Media and Disasters: Best Practices and Lessons Learned. American Red Cross.

The author provides an overview of social media use during the Joplin tornado, Superstorm Sandy, and the Boston Marathon bombing. A list of lessons learned and best practices are also provided.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Using HealthMap's Web-Based Risk Analysis Tools Before and During Public Health Emergencies.

The speakers in this webinar discuss the use of HealthMap (a mobile application that allows users to submit information related to local diseases or outbreaks) during the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti.
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Committee on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices, National Research Council. (2011). Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps. (Free registration required for download.)

This book provides a summary of conference proceedings where risk communications experts discussed the public response to mobile alerts.
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Garrow, J. (2015). The Face of the Matter.

Jim Garrow is the author of this blog which covers emerging issues related to risk communication, social media, and health. He also serves as the Director of Digital Public Health at the Philadelphia Health Department.
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The National Academies Press. (2013). Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps.

This report summarizes presentations made at a 2012 workshop organized by the Committee on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media. Chapters cover the fundamentals of alerts, warnings, and social media; how social media is used in emergencies; the dynamics of social media; message credibility; privacy and legal issues; and research gaps and other challenges.
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Williams, R., Williams, G., and Burton, D. (2012). The Use of Social Media for Disaster Recovery. University of Missouri Extension.

The authors share lessons they learned from creating and maintaining the "Joplin Tornado Info" and "Branson Tornado Info" Facebook pages.
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