An increased number of widespread disasters ranging from storm surge flooding to sprawling wildfires, has increased the pressure on emergency communication. Social Media, through mobile technology combined with volunteer geographic information (VGI), has the potential to enable disaster impacted populations to send and receive crucial information thereby reducing the impact and loss associated with widespread disasters. This study examines how social media impacts emergency and disaster communication by analyzing the results of thirty-three case studies where social media had an impact on communication. Thematic synthesis conducted through the identification of themes derived from study findings indicates that while there are many challenges to implementing a social media enhanced emergency communication strategy, when authorities adopt such a strategy, stakeholders affected by the emergency have more actionable information and situational awareness. Additionally, awareness of the emergency by non-affected stakeholders, such as disaster relief agencies and fundraisers increases exponentially when social media is included in the communication strategy. Findings also suggest that challenges such as information overload, and the dissemination of false information can be overcome when authorities cooperate with affected stakeholders to moderate social media posts.
|School:||University of Maryland University College|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Communication, Web Studies|
|Keywords:||Crisis communication, Disaster, Emergency, Emergency communication, Emergency management, Social media|
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