Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Wading through the Storm Surge: The Impact of Social Media on Emergency Communication during a Disaster
by Walton, Todd R., D.Mgt., University of Maryland University College, 2018, 110; 13806069
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Collins, Kuan
Commitee: Sherlock, John
School: University of Maryland University College
Department: Management Program
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
Publication Number: 13806069
ISBN: 978-1-392-01936-8
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