Social Media as Crisis Response Tool




Rathakrishnan, Adithya

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With emergency situations and natural disasters occurring frequently around the world, internet is what people instinctively turn to for help, specifically using social media through smartphones, tablets and computers. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2013 mentioned that, immediately following Hurricane Sandy users sent more than 20 million Sandy-related Twitter posts, or “tweets”, despite the loss of network services during the hurricane. That is just one example, of many ways people use social media and internet in times of need [14]. With nearly 2.1 billion people having social media accounts out of a total 7.210 billion population of earth, using social media as an effective tool for disaster management should be researched more [24]. Recently, though the number of papers that had research subject as “social media data for emergency management” did go from 4 papers in 2008 (4.2% of total) to 13 in 2013(12.9% of total) [23] which is encouraging more research is required. And with that in mind, a model web application has been proposed in this dissertation which can be used in times of emergency to collaborate and coordinate relief efforts. It makes use of famous social media websites like Facebook and Twitter and RSS news-feed by accessing and displaying the data from them.



social media, crisis response, emergency tool