When Hurricanes Strike Social Media Can Save Lives
Gonzalez Kotala, Z. (2022). When Hurricanes Strike, Social Media Can Save Lives. University of Central Florida Today.
This article describes how a University of Central Florida professor analyzed 23 Florida counties’ use of social media during Hurricane Irma in 2017 as both a communication and an intelligence gathering tool. The professor analyzed after action reports and held focus groups with emergency managers and found that challenges included funding for staff to keep up to speed on information, lack of social media monitoring software, and lack of guidelines for multiple channels. One lesson learned from the study is that the public seeks out information before and during hurricanes more than afterwards, so timeliness is key, as is managing multiple social media accounts.