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3-4 pages double spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman. You will be expected to provide a summary or each of the readings ( no more than one page), and then provide a critical analysis to weigh the positive and the negative issues with each theory or concept. Finally you should provide your own thoughts about any issues or provide recommendations for enhancing future communications.

The social media manifesto: A comprehensive
review of the impact of social media on
emergency management

Adam Crowe
Received: 19th October, 2010

Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, 111 S. Cherry St.,
Suite 100, Olathe, KS 66061, USA
Tel: +1 913 715 1003; E-mail: [email protected]

Adam Crowe is a Certified Emergency Manager
(CEM) and Kansas Certified Emergency Manager
(KCEM) who currentiy serves as the Assistant
Director of Community Preparedness for
Johnson County (KS) Emergency Management &
Homeiand Security. He has spoken at numerous
nationai conferences in the USA and his work
has been pubiished in several professional jour-
nais inciuding the Journal of Homeland Security
& Emergency Management, Journal of
Homeland Security Affairs and the Disaster
Recovery Journal. He hoids a master’s degree in
public administration from Jacksonville State
University and a bachelor’s degree from Clemson
University.

ABSTRACT

Over the past five yeiir5, soda] media have
impacted emergency management and disaster
response in numerous ways. The emergency
management professional must begin to accept
this impact not as an arbitrary consequence of
an uncontrolled disaster, but rather as a tool to
help coordinate, manage and facilitate a saje and
expected response during emergencies and disas-
ters. This paper will explain the power and pur-
pose of social media as well as how social media
systems have equalised capabilities for all levels
and sizes of government. Moreover, this paper
will also Imhliçht the social media systems that
are being used as operational tools as well as
what the future holds. Lastly, common imple-

mentation challenges will he discussed through a
look at systematic approaches to applying social
media in emergency management as a positive
and valuable tool.

Keywords: social media. Web 2.0,
emergency management. Twitter,
Facebook

POWER AND PURPOSE

As the second decade of the 21st century
dawns, the biggest challenge for emer-
gency managers is the need to modify
long-standing philosophies on how to
communicate with citizens regarding
emergency preparedness and management
issues that might affect them. This com-
munication includes pre-event prepared-
ness and planning as well as responsive
crisis communications necessary during
the emergency or disaster. Traditional out-
reach has included providing educational
pamphlets and flyers during local presenta-
tions or community events where citizens
may receive the information along with a
plethora of other material from other
sources. Unfortunately, those citizens may
or may not be interested in receiving that
information and consequently will not be
sufficiently swayed to consider necessary
behavioural changes like personal pre-

Journai of Business Conrinuity
& Emergency Planning
Vol. 5 No. l . p p . 4(19-420
© Henry Stewart Publicitiotis,
I74’>-‘)216

The social media manifesto

paredness and/or prompt response when
directed by emergency officials. Moreover,
establishing trust between governmental
representatives and the general public is
challenging and again can lead to a lack of
behavioural change. These traditional
approaches and common challenges have
been the cornerstone of some of the most
significant communication issues faced by
emergency managers.

These challenges can be overcome (in
many ways) through the utilisation of
social media. Regardless of the system, a
shared connection of people and/or
organisations is created with common
values and interests, and choosing to
engage in the exchange of information for
the common good. Social media also
create an inherently higher trust factor for
information because of the shared net-
work of friends, contacts and organisa-
tions. It is noteworthy, however, that this
engagement of information can be good
or bad. This is why it is critical for emer-
gency managers to understand and engage
in the collaborative phenomenon of social
media. Consider, for example, Facebook.
It currently has over 500 million active
accounts, which means that it has more
users than the entire populations of
Russia, Japan and Mexico combined and
nearly twice as many as the population of
the USA. Or, put another way, were
Facebook a country, it would be the third
most populous in the world behind China
and India.^ In contrast to the traditional
model of education and outreach that is
offered where citizens may or may not be
spending their time, Facebook is where
communication and relationships are
actively happening. Specifically, an average
Facebook user has 130 friends, connection
to more than 80 community groups and
shares 90 pieces of personal content each
month.”‘ This type of pervasive establish-
ment of community is also common in
other social media outlets such as Twitter,

YouTube and several different blog
sources.

Twitter is arguably the second most
important social media site for emergency
management practitioners. While cur-
rently maintaining 105 million users (21
per cent of whom are active), media out-
lets of all levels and types actively utilise
this system to seek out and distribute
newsworthy information at a tremendous
pace.’* This pace of information dissemina-
tion is exponentially increased due to the
significant levels of mobile use of Twitter
and its redistribution (or retweet) func-
tionality of liked or trustworthy informa-
tion. Specifically, numerous third-party
applications (eg HootSuite and
TweetDeck) allow various forms of utilisa-
tion of Twitter such as monitoring and
direct messaging.

While impressive, many governmental
leaders and local emergency managers
worry about the credibility of systems like
Twitter that lack verifiable accounts (for
most governmental entities) and that
admittedly are often filled with insignifi-
cant and/or irrelevant information.
Alternative communication sites such as
Nixie were developed to address such
issues related to emergency management’s
use of Twitter as a public education and
information dissemination tool.
Unfortunately, the number of users (par-
ticularly media) of these alternative sys-
tems pales in comparison to Twitter and
therefore they are highly unlikely to be
impactful tools for emergency manage-
ment even though they allow for verifiable
accounts.

Nixie is just one of many social media
systems built to draw in people for specific
purposes, often related to emergency man-
agement and preparedness. For instance, in
early 2009, Microsoft announced the cre-
ation of Vine, a social media system
intended to serve as an emergency notifi-
cation and naonitoring system by friends

and family; however, by September 2010,
Microsoft had announced the discontinua-
tion of this system.” Citizens were not
finding Vine beneficial presumably because
they were not actively engaged on the
network, especially compared with
Facebook and Twitter. Based on the statis-
tics already mentioned, Facebook and
Twitter have estabhshed their supremacy
and should be treated as such by emer-
gency management. Emergency manage-
ment must be careful to distribute their
messages where local citizens are spending
time, not w^here they want them to be, to
avoid repeating the mistakes already estab-
lished through traditional outreach
approaches.

This premise is also true of how people
seek out information through the inter-
net. According to one major technology
publication, the web (as utilised by local
governments for the last decade) is dead.
Citizen activity has moved away from
static browsing for information towards
applications and mobile browsing.^’
Additional studies have indicated that
mobile browsing will overtake traditional
browsing by 2015 as the predominant way
in which most people will view the inter-
net.^ In the USA, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and the
National Weather Service have both
implemented new mobile and/or applica-
tion-based outreach services.**’̂ ^ Moreover,
the impact of this mobile browsing and
notification has caused exponential
growth at the local level due to the ability
of many jurisdictions to automate emer-
gency alert messages to established social
media outlets such as Facebook and
Twitter.'”

Interestingly, the availability of practical
emergency preparedness mobile applica-
tions is not limited to formal offerings
from governmental and quasi-governmen-
tal sources. There are a variety of apps
offered for free or minimal fees including

step-by-step guides for first aid, CPR, pet
preparedness and personal allergies,” as
well as function-based software including
flashlights'” and emergency dispatch
feeds. ‘ This type of information contin-
ues to carry common messages expressed
by emergency managers and/or creates a
transparency of information towards activ-
ities and direction.

LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD

As outreach philosophies are beginning to
change in the emergency management
field, the benefits of such a change have to
be understood. For instance, these benefits
are broad and multi-faceted, affecting
components including public education,
public communications and response
tools. Moreover, traditional approaches to
project management, technological devel-
opment, training and public involvement
are on the verge of revolutionary change
due to the inclusion of social media and
other Web 2.0 concepts. Specifically, there
are three fundamental rules of social media
application in emergency management:

• Conversations are key.
• No more middle man.
• It has got to be free.

These rules allow a levelling of the prover-
bial playing field between emergency
management programmes of all sizes and
at all levels of government.

Perhaps the most significant change
relates to the cost management of activities
related to emergency management pro-
jects. Social media and Web 2.0 concepts
often eliminate the need for costly devel-
opment of systems to manage emergency
management concepts such as planning,
exercise management and response mech-
anisms. These cost savings are possible due
to the establishment of robust networks,
servers and infrastructure by nearly all

Page 411

The social media manifesto

social media outlets such as Facebook,
Twitter,YouTube, Flickr and many others,
which generates a high level of confidence
•when used by emergency management or
other secondary sources.

A second reason these systems are
beginning to replace traditional mecha-
nisms is the implementation of cro^wd-
sourcing. Crowdsourcing allows tasks
typically performed by employees now to
be performed by a collection of individu-
als within a crowd who have no particular
connection outside of the ability to per-
form the desired function. Within emer-
gency management, cro^wdsourcing has
been used numerous times, most recently
by BP during the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico to collect suggestions about possi-
ble ways to stop the spill. BP received
more than 20,000 suggestions that were
categorised into not possible, already
planned or feasible. As a result, the com-
pany identified nearly 100 options that
•were feasible and previously unidentified
to stop one of the largest oil spills ever.
These response concepts and ideas were
made accessible to decision makers and
emergency responders in a more timely
manner and ultimately may have con-
tributed to the resolution of the incident
in a quicker and more efficient manner.

Additionally, a free crowdsourcing •web-
site called Ushahidi has been utilised
during several international emergencies
including the Haiti and Chile earthquakes
of early 2010. Ushahidi provided web-
based or mobile connectivity to collect
(from ‘the crowd’) information about the
incident. This included web-based maps
that provided real-time crowd-generated
information about health conditions,
infrastructure damage and localised emer-
gencies.”^ The speed and accuracy of this
type of information aggregation is impos-
sible for governmental or first responder
agencies utilising current systems. The
application of Ushahidi in these situations

provides strong support that the public’s
growing expectation of speed and breadth
of information is much greater than offi-
cial government communication channels
are currently able to provide.

Not only can emergency managers
utilise public gatherings and collection of
information, they also can self-define pre-
paredness and response messages as well as
certain operational processes. Specifically,
traditional media outlets (television, radio
and print) are vital partners in public dis-
semination of emergency management
messages; however, these groups innately
filter the message. This type of message
adjustment can be positive or negative, but
inherently happens for a variety of reasons
ranging from media bias due to time (or
space) limitations based on the format
utilisation for distribution. Social media
can help to eliminate and/or control this
process and allow emergency managers to
have an outlet for an unfiltered and fully
developed preparedness or response mes-
sage, which is critical to ensure public cit-
izens receive clear and consistent
information.

Likewise, operational processes such as
donations and volunteer management
have been significantly improved due to
the involvement and application of social
media. For instance, in 2009, the City of
Fargo, North Dakota, was responding to
significant flooding from the Red River
and was having difficulty arranging for
enough volunteers to support efforts
during the middle of winter. At the sug-
gestion of one local man who was already
volunteering, the community imple-
mented a Facebook group and generated
interest in volunteering that •was approxi-
mately equal to 5 per cent of their local
population, •which significantly improved
their response capabilities.”‘

Similarly, donations management has
successfully moved into the social media
and Web 2.0 realms after the American

Red Cross utilised financial donations
through text messaging in support of the
2010 earthquake in Haiti. Specifically, the
Red Cross was able to generate a total of
US$5m in donations within the first 48
hours’^ and US$30m within ten days of
the disaster. This figure ultimately
accounted for approximately 10 per cent
of the total donated to the relief funds and
represented a significant reduction in the
time commitment and resources often
necessary to collect, manage and process
donations generated in response to an
emergency or disaster.

Another example of cost-effective,
direct access training and public education
is the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s (CDC’s) utilisation of Second
Life. Second Life is an online virtual world
where users can create avatars (or digital
likenesses) and engage in the virtual envi-
ronment and communicate openly on var-
ious topics of interest. For instance, in
spring 2010, the C D C held a virtual talk
on Second Life about H l N l that was later
captured on video and shared via blogs
and YouTube. ^̂ ‘”‘” Second Life has also
been utilised by the University of Illinois,
Chicago School of Public Health, in con-
junction with the C D C to simulate mass
prophylaxis sites and distribution of mate-
rials after an anthrax attack.”̂ ^ This type of
systematic utilisation of a virtual environ-
ment has the opportunity ultimately to
decrease the cost of training and exercises
by minimising costs related to physical
setups and elimination of perishable items
necessary for resource intensive emer-
gency preparedness training and exercise
activities.

THE FUTURE IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT
NOW
There are many examples of how both
individual disasters and emergency man-
agenaent professionals have been impacted

by social media and Web 2.0 concepts.
These include the utilisation of Facebook,
Twitter and YouTube to name a few sys-
tems, as well as a strong push to redefine
the relationships between local govern-
ments, the media and their citizens. While
these issues may continue to be developed
and/or redeveloped in the near future, the
emergency management community also
will have the immediate opportunity to
begin to utilise various Web 2.0 tools that
are already available for free. These tools
are free because of a shared network of
servers, computers, networks and interre-
lated systems often referred to as the
‘cloud’. This cloud is utilised by all online
social media and Web 2.0 service providers
to ensure robust networks that are both
redundant and sufficient to meet the needs
of the end user. When this robustness fails,
the social media community often has
abandoned the system or come up with
colloquial monikers like Twitter’s ‘Fail
Whale’.”” This sector of clovid systems
represents numerous operational and
response tools that can (and will) be
utilised by emergency management as a
cost-effective alternative to many current
systems commonly used. For instance,
real-time collaborative editing tools would
be of great value to emergency managers
and first responders who are creating plan-
ning and public information documents
during an event. This type of tool would
allow for multiple users to be simultane-
ously creating a docunient rather than the
document being written, reviewed, edited
and then reviewed again prior to distribu-
tion or implementation. The time neces-
sary for review and approval for press
releases and other operational documenta-
tion could also be minimised and/or elim-
inated due to the simultaneous reading,
writing and editing of a document. Again,
this type of functionality is critical in
ensuring clarity and consistency of public
messages which are necessary to ensure

The social media manifesto

the public exhibits safe and expected
response behaviour.

The largest and most ambitious version
of this type of tool was Google Wave,
which was initially released in May 2009.
This system promised to have collabora-
tive editing with time-stamped tracking of
information management, which was pro-
jected as a possible new technology for
implementation in joint information cen-
tres (JICs) and other information manage-
ment sources. Unfortunately, Google was
unable to address issues identified during
its beta testing and ultimately shut down
Wave in August 2010. Since that time,
other software and browser-based collabo-
rative editing systems have been released
with Type With. Me showing the strongest
possibility for implementation similar to
what was initially projected for Google
Wave.

Additional cloud technologies that may
impact emergency management include
those systems that support information
management, organisation and distribu-
tion. Specifically, there is a group of social
media systems referred to as social book-
marking that allo’w for a web-based listing
and categorisation of internet links that
can be privately accessed through
login/password combinations and/or
shared publically. Not only is this type of
social media an excellent opportunity for
planning and operational response, it also
allows free and robust redundancy for
many emergency managers and emer-
gency operations centres (EOCs).
Likewise, there are similar online systems
that allow for free online storage of files
and online materials with almost no limit
to the size or type of file. Sources of these
services are sometimes fee-based, but there
are several robust free services such as
Drop.io, Evernote and MyOtherDrive that
could be utilised by emergency manage-
ment in this fashion.

Another powerful type of social media

tool available for emergency management
is referred to as social geolocation systems.
These tools include FourSquare, Go Walla,
Google Latitude and most recently the
implementation of Facebook Places.
While all are built on slightly different
models, these social media systems are all
based on the concept of utilising mobile
telephone devices to determine the geo-
graphic location of individuals. This geo-
graphic location, which is based on WiFi
and GPS signalling, allows for the individ-
ual user to be virtually engaged in the
actual environment that surrounds them.
For instance, if friends and/or favourite
restaurants were geographically close they
would appear in these systems and allow
for the establishment and/or increased
level of social interaction.

Emergency management utilisation of
social geolocation systems is in its infancy
(or even gestation in some cases) due to
the relatively recent establishment of this
technology; however, there are numerous
operational applications that could be
considered for usage including weather
spotting, search and rescue, damage assess-
ment and debris management. These
emergency management functions are
dependent upon field operations at diverse
geographic locations that are managed
from one central command location. This
makes communications, documentation
and technological implementation a
necessity and thus a viable option for
social geolocation systems. For instance,
debris management operations, due to the
necessity of contracted labour, are
extremely vulnerable to abuse and misre-
porting. Significant levels of process
accountability are required to eliminate
duplicate trips, weighted trucks and other
abuses. The utilisation of social geoloca-
tion systems would allow impacted juris-
dictions to require contracted workers to
identify themselves geographically over
certain intervals which could then be

Page 414

recorded and reviewed by emergency
management staff to ensure proper actions
were maintained. This functionality would
potentially improve accountability and
response as well as potentially streamlining
the activities necessary to document and
justify possible disaster reimbursements.
Likewise, weather spotters, damage assess-
ment teams, and search and rescue teams
would be able to be deployed to certain
geographic areas and report back real-time
observed information. While this reported
information typically would be done
through radio communications and/or
traditional paper documentation, social
geolocation systems allow for instanta-
neous reporting and capturing of the data
for faster processing by the field teams.
Having this type of information faster and
with greater reliability would be an
extremely valuable tool for efficient and
effective emergency management and
resource coordination.

Social geolocation systems like
Foursquare also allow for local geographic
holders like restaurants and bakeries to
offer announcements to individuals in the
geographic vicinity that include product
specials, coupons and other relevant infor-
mation. This type of functionality could
also be utilised by emergency manage-
ment entities to announce hazardous con-
ditions impacting that geographic range.
Simple messages suggesting emergency
evacuation, weather protection and/or
sheltering-in-place could be attached geo-
graphicaUy to local government buildings
and disseminated to those individuals util-
ising the social geolocation system.

While emergency managers have not
yet fuUy implemented social geolocation
systems for operational usage, many emer-
gency response agencies (at all levels of
government and response) have more
thoroughly implemented Web 2.0 map-
ping for geographic information analysis
and information sharing. This was particu-

larly utilised by media outlets and educa-
tors to show the progression of events like
the BP oil spill during the summer of
2010.^^ Perhaps the most powerful utilisa-
tion of socially-interactive maps was
Google’s Crisis Response Center that
integrated publically-generated YouTube
videos, visual mapping reports, oil spiU
forecasts from the National Weather
Service, spill containment berm locations
provided by the State of Louisiana and
satellite images of the spill provided by
NASA into the Google Map technology
that is free to all. The need for crowd-
sourced, real-time mapping for emergen-
cies and disasters is so well accepted that
Google has estabhshed MapMaker to help
facilitate just this concept.”‘*

The power of text messaging for the
improvement of donations management
has already been discussed in relation to
the American Red Cross’s fundraising fol-
lowing the Haiti earthquake in 2010;
however, text messaging has also become
an extremely powerful tool for mobile and
portable communications. According to
the latest Pew Internet research, 72 per
cent of US adults and 87 per cent of US
teenagers use cellular phone text messag-
ing on a regular basis, which is 9 per cent
more than one year ago.””” This high level
of utilisation is extraordinarily beneficial
to local emergency managers as it repre-
sents a relatively easy, cost-effective and
robust mechanism to communicate emer-
gency public information notifications to
citizens. This type of communication will
only continue to increase in usage and
impact over the next several years.

As established by Facebook and Twitter,
emergency managers would be doing
their local citizens an injustice by ignoring
the presence and growth of text messaging
within a community. Many jurisdictions
(especially schools and higher education
institutions) have utilised private compa-
nies to perform an automated text messag-

The social media manifesto

ing service; however, this is not as
common as a tool specifically utilised for
emergency messaging. Some emergency
management groups have tied Twitter’s
capability for text notification to provide
these services at a fraction of the cost and
with similar efficacy.” ‘̂

SLAYING THE GIANT
Even with the numerous examples of the
impact of social media on emergencies
and disasters, most local emergency man-
agement communities have yet to adopt
comprehensive use of social media.
Application of social media and Web 2.0
options falls into three categories:

• Proactive utilisation, including the active
usage of social media systems like
Facebook, Twitter and others previously
discussed to both disseminate informa-
tion and monitor public comments
regarding their agency and/or commu-
nity event. Proactive utilisation is the
most complicated use of social media
and requires the most time and
resources to master.

• Reactive utilisation of social media only
disseminates and/or monitors public
comments, but not both, and is the
most common application within
emergencies due to its more reasonable
utilisation of personnel, resources and
time.

• The inactive category covers those
organisations that are completely inac-
tive in social media. This inactive status
is probably the most dangerous to
emergency managers because it ignores
the significant impact of social media
on emergencies and disasters.

According to a recent study by the
American Red Cross, citizens are now
seeking out and utilising social media to
send and receive information. Specifically,

the online survey found that 20 per cent
of adults who could not reach 911 -would
try to contact responders through a digital
means such as e-mail or social media.
Moreover, 44 per cent of respondents
stated that they would ask other people in
their social networks to contact local
authorities on their behalf, 35 per cent
would post a direct request on a response
agency’s Facebook page and 28 per cent
would send a direct Twitter message to
responders.” More alarming for inactive
first emergency management and response
agencies is that this study also found that
69 per cent of respondents felt that first
responders should be monitoring social
media sites to send help quickly, and nearly
74 per cent expected emergency help to
come in less than one hour after a post to
Twitter or Facebook.”̂ ^̂ This survey clearly
states that the public expects proactive
social media usage by emergency manage-
ment and first response agencies. Based on
these findings, it is operationally, ethically
and politically irresponsible for local
emergency management organisations
simply to try and ignore social media’s
impact on their response.

These survey findings are fuUy sup-
ported by BP’s experience during the
2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP’s pres-
ence on Twitter immediately after the oil
spill in spring 2010 was not fully devel-
oped and lacked the content and added
value that the general public was seeking
out regarding this disaster. Unfortunately
for BP, this social media void was filled by
a satirical twitter account presenting itself
as an official source of BP public relations
•which posted inflammatory comments.
Interestingly, the number of followers of
the fake BP account outpaced the real BP
account nearly ten-fold.”‘^ As already
established, social media users (who are
ultimately local citizens) are seeking out
information via social media systems and
will seek sources that supply the informa-

Paae416

tion they are seeking whether the source is
legitimate or not.

In addition to the reactive versus proac-
tive challenge, another problem that emer-
gency managers and emergency public
information officers face is the balance
between style and substance. Social media
system users expect informal, conversa-
tional tones and language which often
includes colloquialism, slang, abbreviations
and misspellings. Unfortunately, this level
of informality is extremely uncommon in
official government information releases.
Consequently, emergency managers must
decide what level of modification they are
willing to accept. For instance, the US
Government released its social media
guidelines in 2010, which included main-
taining an active voice, use of present
tense, speaking directly to constituents,
utilisation of keywords and the avoidance
of colloquialism, slang and governmental
jargon.-“*”

Additionally, some emergency manage-
ment agencies are overwhelmed by the
process implementation required for utili-
sation of social media. This implementa-
tion includes the identification of
personnel to oversee social media and the
establishment of vigorous and realistic poli-
cies. Many emergency management offices
are small with only part-time or volunteer
support staff, which makes nê w concepts
like the application of social media chal-
lenging if leadership is not already passion-
ate about its use. Rather than seeking out
creative and innovative ways to be proac-
tive or at least reactive, some emergency
managers have taken the stance that the
social media phenomenon is simply a fad
that will pass if it is ignored long enough.
Unfortunately, this attitude that social
media will simply go away is short-sighted.
The utilisation of analytics and monitoring
measurement tools such as TweetDeck,
Google Analytics and Monitter show a
near constant social media discussion on

various issues impacting a jurisdiction. This
social media conversation will simply grow
exponentially during an emergency or dis-
aster and be occurring all around official
emergency management and response
whether local emergency managers
acknowledge it or not.”” These monitoring
tools are free and sufficiently dynamic to
search for certain terms, concepts and asso-
ciations to determine how the public is
discussing certain issues. Using these tools
ultimately will lead to more effective com-
munications with the public regarding the
incident in question.

Lastly, social media are also significantly
impacting operational response systems
like the US National Incident
Management System (NIMS) that help to
define a uniform and coordinated
response to emergencies and disasters.
Specifically, methods like NIMS define
processes to include the collection, analysis
and distribution of emergency public
information through a command and con-
trol system in which all messages are ulti-
mately approved by a single person with
ultimate authority for the overall opera-
tions (eg incident commander or EOC
manager); ” however, this revie^w and
approval process is antagonistic to the
speed and formality (or lack thereof) of
social media systems like Facebook and
Twitter.^ No system exists that effectively
and efficiently blends operational models
vith social media systems. Consequently,
this •will continue to be a challenge for
emergency managers until adjustments are
made to the operational response systems
that maintain levels of accountability and
control without eliminating the benefit of
utilising social media systems.

CONCLUSION
Although the utilisation of social media
systems by emergency management pro-
fessionals is in its early years, the future

The social media manifesto

benefits and applications are nearly
boundless. Emergency managers cannot
deny the fact that social media systems are
already being utilised by numerous citizens
and media outlets for the monitoring and
distribution of emergency public informa-
tion. Because of the ever-changing nature
of information related to disasters, social
media systems thrive in emergencies and
must be considered in all phases of emer-
gency management including prepared-
ness, response, recovery and mitigation.
Social media must begin to be employed
by emergency managers in conjunction
with traditional outreach to provide a
comprehensive and thorough mechanism
for the distribution of education and
emergency public information. Only this
type of approach will effectively ensure
emergency management professionals are
providing information in a timely and
effective manner via mechanisms that take
account of where citizens are, not where
they have been or are hoped to be.

Additionally, emergency managers have
a tremendous opportunity to implement
social media and Web 2.0 systems as oper-
ational response tools. Many of these sys-
tems potentially provide greater
accountability and safety as well as redun-
dant systems to store documentation,
resources and other vital response compo-
nents. This application is nearly always free
and easily integrated into or through
mobile browsing and/or applications,
which allows for significant mobility and
portabihty of these new operational tools.

The future of emergency management
is right now. The ability of social media to
improve real-time collaboration via cloud
networking or social geolocation systems
is already becoming a valuable tool and
will continue to be so as more emergency
management professionals learn more
about these systems and creatively apply
their uses to current response systems in
JICs and mapping centres. Moreover, aug-

mented reality may push these geographic
models into new cost-effective formats
and phases currently unimaginable by the

34

average emergency manager.
Implementation of social media is occur-
ring at many different levels and in many
different ways. These organisations should
be profiled and examined for best practices
and ideal application for certain emergen-
cies and/or crisis situations.’ ^ Moreover,
significant work must be completed
related to the recommended implementa-
tion of social media into emergency public
information systems to ensure they can be
utilised as a tool and ultimately benefit the
clear and consistent review of public mes-
sages. These best practices along with a
little creativity and ingenuity w îll help
drive the future of social media’s contin-
ued application in emergency manage-
ment. Social media systems are not going
away and neither are disasters, therefore, it
is paramount for emergency managers and
the profession as a whole to find ways to
understand and embrace how social media
are impacting their lives and communities.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

The figures used within this paper were
accurate in October 2010. The author
acknowledges that these figures are dynamic
and change with time.

REFERENCES

(1) Pingdom (2009) ‘Battle of the sizes:
Social network users vs country
populations’, available at:
http://royaLpingdom.com/2009/03/13/
battle-of-the-sizes-social-network-users-
vs-country-populations (accessed 8th
September, 2010).

(2) PCWorld (2010) ‘Facebook’s half a
billion users: Fun facts’, available at:
http://wv^v.pcworld.com/article/
201650/facebooks_halfl_billion_users_fu
n_facts.html (accessed 8th September,
2010).

(3) Facebook (2010) ‘Facebook statistics’,
available at: http://www.facebook.com/
press/info.php?statistics (accessed 9th
September, 2010).

(4) Huffington Post (2010) ‘Twitter user
statistics revealed’, available at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/
04/14/twitter-user-statistics-
r_n_537992.html (accessed 9th
September, 2010).

(5) Microsoft (2010) ‘Microsoft Vine’,
available at: http://www.vine.net
(accessed 10th September, 2010).

(6) Wired (2010) ‘The web is dead. Long
live the internet’, available at:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010
/08/filwebrip/all/l (accessed 10th
September, 2010).

(7) Switched (2010)’Mobile web to
overtake desktop by 2015′, available at:
http://www.switched.coni/2()10/04/14/
mobile-web-to-overtake-desktop-by-
2015-facebook-fans-worth-3-6 (accessed
10th September, 2010).

(8) Federal Emergency Management Agency
(2010) ‘FEMA: Mobile’, available at:
http://m.fema.gov (accessed 12th
September, 2010).

(9) National Weather Service (2010)
‘Interactive NWS’, available at:
http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov (accessed 12th
September, 2010).

(10) Johnson County Emergency
Management & Homeland Security
(2010) ‘JOCOAlert’, available at:
http://www.jocoem.Org/CIT/jocoalert.s
html (accessed 27th September, 2010).

(11) Mashable (2009) ‘7 iPhone apps that
could save lives’, available at:
http://mashable.com/2009/07/ll/
iphone-save-lives (accessed 29th
September, 2010).

(12) Apple iTunes (2010) ‘Flashlight for
iPhone’, available at:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/
flashlight/id285281827?mt=8 (accessed
29th September, 2010).

(13) Emergency Management Magazine (2010)
‘911 dispatch app puts emergency data
in hands of citizens’, available at:
h ttp : / /www. emergencymgmt. com/

safety/911 -Dispatch-App-Emergency-
Data.html (accessed 29th September,
2010).

(14) Government Technology (2010)’IT
trends: Gulf oil spill crowdsourcing
available at: http://www.govtech.com/
e-government/IT-Trends-Gulf-Oil-
Spill-Crowdsourcing.html?topic= 117673
(accessed 14th September, 2010).

(15) Ushahidi (2010) ‘Haiti’, available at:
http://haiti.ushahidi.com (accessed 16th
September, 2010).

(16) MSNBC (2010) ‘Fargo uses social
networks to fight floodwaters’, available
at: http://wAvv.msnbc.msn.com/id/
29901184 (accessed 18th September,
2010).

(17) Mashable (2010) ‘Red Cross raises
$5,000,000+ for Haiti through text
messaging campaign’, available at:
http://mashable.com/2010/01/13/
haiti-red-cross-donations (accessed 18th
September, 2010).

(18) MSNBC (2010) ‘Mobile giving to help
Haiti exceeds $30 million’, available at:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/348505
32/ns/technology_and_science-wireless
(accessed 18th September, 2010).

(19) CDC (2010) ‘Virtual worlds — eHealth
marketing’, available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/healthinarketing/
ehm/virtual.html (accessed 20th
September, 2010).

(20) 111 Clan Animation Studios (2010) ‘CDC
discusses swine flu in second life’,
available at: http://www.illclan.com/iU-
blog/35-ill-blog/124-cdc-discusses-
swine-flu-in-second-life (accessed 20th
September, 2010).

(21) Medill — Northwestern University
(2010) ‘First responders meet in second
life: Public health enters the virtual
world’, available at:

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/ch
icago/news.aspx?id=l 14473 (accessed
20th September, 2010).

(22) ReadWriteWeb (2010) ‘The story of the
fail whale’, available at:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives
/the_story_ofLthe_fail_whale.php
(accessed 21st September, 2010).

The social media manifesto

(23) NewYork Times (2010) ‘Tracking the oil
spill in the Gulf, available at:
http://wvw.nytimes.com/interactive/
2010/0.5/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-
tracker.htinl (accessed 24th September,
2010).

(24) TED: Ideas Worth Spreading (2010)
‘Lalitesh Katragadda: Making maps to
fight disaster, build economies’, available
at: http://www.ted.com/talks/
lalitesh_katragadda_making_maps_to_
fight_disaster_build_economies.htnil
(accessed 26th September, 2010).

(25) Pew Internet (2010) ‘Cell phones and
American adults’, available at:
http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/
CeU-Phones-and-American-Adults.aspx
(accessed 26th September, 2010).

(26) Johnson County Emergency
Management & Homeland Security, ref.
10 above.

(27) American Red Cross (2010) ‘Web users
increasingly rely on social media to seek
help in a disaster’, available at:
http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/
menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43
181 aa0/?vgnextoid=6bb5a96d0a94a210
VgnVCM 1000()089f087()aRCRD
(accessed 28th September, 2010).

(28) Ibid.
(29) The Wall Street Journal (2010) ‘Fake BP

Twitter account followers with oil-spiU
satire’, available at: http://blogs.wsj.com/
digits/2010/05/24/fake-bp-twitter-
account-draws-foUowers-with-oil-spill-
satire (accessed 29th September, 2010).

(30) US Government (2010) ‘Social media

style and editorial guide for USA.gov’,
available at: http://www.usa.gov/
webcontent/docunients/socmed_
editorial_guidelines_041210.pdf
(accessed 28th September, 2010).

(31) Mashable (2010) ‘Top 10 Twitter trends
this week’, available at:
http://mashable.com/2010/05/29/
top-10-twitter-trends-this-week-chart-3
(accessed 30th September, 2010).

(32) FEMA’s Emergency Management
Institute (2010) ‘IS-702.a — National
incident management systems (NIMS)
public information systems’, available at:
http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is
702a.asp (accessed 3rd October, 2010).

(33) Journal of Homeland Security and
Emergency Management (2010) ‘The
elephant in the JIG: The fundamental
tlow in emergency public information
within the NIMS framework’, available
at: http://w~ww.bepress.com/jhsem/
vol7/issl/10 (accesssed 30th September,
2010).

(34) Billinghurst, M., Director of Human
Interface Technology Laboratory, New
Zealand (2010), personal interview, 7th
October.

(35) White, G. and Plottnick, L. (2010) ‘A
framework to identify best practices:
Social media and web 2.0 technologies
in the emergency domain’, available at:
http://www.slideshare.net/conniewhite/
a-framework-to-identify-best-practices-
social-media-and-web-20-technologies-
in-the-emergency-domain (accessed 4th
October, 2010).

Copyright of Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning is the property of Henry Stewart

Publications LLP and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without

the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for

individual use.

Volume 7, Issue 1 2010 Article 64

Journal of Homeland Security and
Emergency Management

When Status Quo Becomes Obsolete: The
Changing Use of Outdoor Warning Sirens

Adam Crowe, Community Action Planning Advisors

Recommended Citation:
Crowe, Adam (2010) “When Status Quo Becomes Obsolete: The Changing Use of Outdoor
Warning Sirens,” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Vol. 7: Iss. 1,
Article 64.
DOI: 10.2202/1547-7355.1758

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When Status Quo Becomes Obsolete: The
Changing Use of Outdoor Warning Sirens

Adam Crowe

Abstract

Outdoor warning sirens have long been the primary emergency notification system utilized
by emergency managers to warn their citizens about severe weather threats or other community
hazards. They are based on the infrastructure and philosophy of civil defense sirens and are often
distributed throughout communities based on budgetary availability and population density.
Unfortunately, technology, human behavior, and social science have reached the point where
sirens may no longer be capable of serving as the primary system for emergency warnings. This
article evaluates and contrasts the cost versus benefit of various emergency warning strategies
with a particular focus on the rise of systems with greater portability and mobility.

KEYWORDS: outdoor warning sirens, Emergency Alert System, mobility, portability, tornado
sirens

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Outdoor warning sirens have long been the primary emergency
notification system used by emergency managers to warn their citizens about
severe weather threats or other community hazards. These sirens are based on the
infrastructure and philosophy of civil defense sirens and are often distributed
throughout communities in accordance with budgetary availability and population
density. Unfortunately, technology, human behavior, and social science have
reached the point where sirens may no longer be capable of serving as the primary
system for emergency warnings.

According to one study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Americans spend 90 percent of their time inside, which severely limits the
effectiveness of an outdoor warning notification system.1 This fundamental divide
represents the most basic physical and metaphorical challenges to effective public
notification through outdoor sirens. Although outdoor warning sirens create a
“universal language” at first blush, this language does not necessarily mean the
same thing for everyone in a given community. For instance, some local
communities activate outdoor warning sirens for high-wind events and some do
not (even if they are adjacent communities). This significantly challenges the
accepted social science research that indicates that people are most likely to
respond correctly if the warning mechanism contains directed protective
information and is clear, consistent, and repeated.2

Moreover, outdoor warning sirens are costly to purchase and maintain by
local jurisdictions. An average community might have sirens that are up to 2540
years old that could be replaced only with costs exceeding $20,000.3 Every
community would also need multiple sirens to cover the entire municipal area (or
at least areas identified as most populated or critical to the community).
Moreover, because the sirens often stay dormant for the vast majority of the year,
there is always a vulnerability that the sirens may fail to operate or act
unpredictably.

Over the last decade—with specific focus on the last half of the decade—
there has been an explosion in the availability and acceptance of equipment and
technology that allows individual portability and mobility of information,
services, and notification. This capability is based on global positioning systems
(GPS) as well as on wireless, infrared, Bluetooth, and social media technology.
Notification systems using this type of mobility and portability include the

1 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality,”
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidest.html (accessed September 27, 2010).
2 John E. Farley, “Call-to-Action Statements in Tornado Warnings: Do They Reflect Recent
Developments in Tornado-Safety Research?” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and
Disasters 25, no. 1 (2007): 136.
3 Ben Poston, “Some Areas Lack Tornado Sirens,” (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel, January 22,
2008, http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29581894.html (accessed September 27, 2010).

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) All-Hazard alert
radios, cell phones, smartphones, and GPS devices. These systems are not only
mobile but also, because of their relatively small size, extremely portable, which
means they are often close to the owner rather than geographically limited to a
home, building, or area, as is the case with outdoor warning sirens.

Within the United States, cell phone usage is between 75 percent and 82
percent,4 with 4.1 billion texts sent daily.5 Moreover, nearly one out of every five
Americans—regardless of race or sex—maintain a cell phone only in their home
or residence.6 Likewise, there are over 400 NOAA weather stations broadcasting
to approximately 98 percent of the population.7 Maintaining this level of source
diversity is critical to effective warning strategies because research has indicated
that warning information received numerous times from multiple sources has a
high impact on people’s risk perception related to the event.8 This was most
recently confirmed by research at Georgia Tech that identified the need for
multiple sources of emergency warning information in order for people with
disabilities to respond correctly.9

Although not available to everyone, this type of mobility and portability
makes emergency notification easier and often more effective than outdoor
warning sirens regardless of the time or location. With systems that are location
static (e.g., NOAA alert radios), notification and alert are available inside
buildings and homes where people spend the overwhelming majority of their
time. Likewise, cell phones are location dynamic and are often within close reach
of the individual user. Combined, the portability and mobility of these types of
systems ensure the ability to provide obtrusive alerts for people who are asleep, an
ability that might not be possible from outdoor warning sirens.

This concept of creating a more dynamic and diverse emergency
notification strategy that moves away from outdoor warning sirens as the primary
function is not new. In 2005, in response to significant severe weather that caused
the death of twenty-five residents living in a mobile home community, the state of
Indiana passed a law requiring that all new manufactured homes come with

4 John Horrigan, “Mobile Access to Data and Information,” Pew Internet Study (2008),
http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Mobile-Access-to-Data-and-Information.aspx?r=1
(accessed September 27, 2010).
5 Jennifer Van Grove, “WOW: 4.1 Billion SMS Messages Are Sent Daily” Mashable Blog (2009),
http://mashable.com/2009/10/07/ctia-wireless-survey/ (accessed September 27, 2010).
6 Horrigan, “Mobile Access to Data and Information.”
7 Robert J. Kupec, “Tuning In: Weather Radios for Those Most at Risk,” Journal of Emergency
Management 6, no. 4 (2008): 5155.
8 Farley, “Call-to-Action Statements in Tornado Warnings.”
9 Helena Mitchel et al., “Wireless Emergency Communications” (2009),
http://www.wirelessrerc.org/about-us/projects/development-projects/d3-wireless-emergency-
communications.html/?searchterm=emergency%20notification (accessed September 27, 2010).

2 JHSEM: Vol. 7 [2010], No. 1, Article 64

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NOAA All-Hazard alert radios.10 Likewise, other communities have identified
funding or grants to purchase weather radios for nearly all citizens in the given
area.11 Lastly, many communities have also begun to institute various forms of
social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to send out emergency notifications
to the growing number of citizens using these communication systems.12

Consequently, it is merely a matter of allowing this movement to shift from being
localized to becoming industry-wide for it to truly be effective. For a
comprehensive comparison of the various types of emergency notification
systems, see Table 1.

This need for a more robust and effective national emergency warning
strategy was also established by the Governmental Accountability Office’s
(GAO) review report, Improved Planning and Coordination Necessary for
Development of Integrated Public Alert and Warning Systems.13 While the title
sounds as convoluted as the problem, the report clearly identifies a need for an
updated overall strategy that fully implements technology and programmatic
implementations that have been undermanaged (Emergency Alert System [EAS])
or underdeveloped (proposed Integrated Public Alert and Warning System [IPAWS]).
The report noticeably charges the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and the
Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator to improve emergency
warning strategies through additional project development, testing, and increased
project transparency.14

Embracing a comprehensive system heavily based on systems that are
mobile and portable is not only potentially more operationally efficient, but also
more cost-effective. As compared to the high costs related to purchasing and
maintain outdoor sirens, the cost of NOAA All-Hazard weather radios is as low as
$30, and the emergency text services cost as low as $10 per year.15 With this level
of affordability, many smaller communities could provide greater coverage from
emergency notification services rather than just outdoor warning sirens for similar
or less cost based on the geographic range covered.

10 Kupec, “Tuning In.”
11 http://www.abc3340.com/news/stories/0808/542280.html (site no longer accessible).
12 Johnson County Emergency Management and Homeland Security,
http://www.jocoem.org/links.shtml (accessed September 27, 2010).
13 U.S. Government Accountability Office, Improved Planning and Coordination Necessary for
Development of Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (September 9, 2009),
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-834 (accessed September 27, 2010).
14 Ibid.
15 PrepareMetroKC, “Weather Radios Save Lives,” http://www.preparemetrokc.org (accessed
September 27, 2010); “How WeatherCall Works,” http://www.weathercall.net/wc_whatisit.html
(accessed September 27, 2010).

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Table 1: A Comparison of Emergency Notification Systems

System name Type Mobilitya Portabilitya Service purpose Implementer
System

established
Outdoor warning
sirens Siren None None Outdoor notification Local 1950s
National Warning
System (NAWAS) Telephone None None Responder notification State and federal 1950s

Twitter Social media Yes Yes Universal notification Local 2006

Facebook Social media Yes Yes Universal notification Local 2004
SMS Text
Notification
Systemsb Text Yes Yes Universal notification Local 1992
Public Safety
Communication
Systemsb Telephone None Yes Universal notification Local and state 2000s
Emergency Alert
System (EAS) Alert radio None Yes Universal notification

Local, state, and
federal 1997

Integrated Public
Alert and Warning
System (IPAWS) Integrated Yes Yes Universal notification

Local, state, and
federal N/A

aFor the purpose of this comparison the distinction between mobility and portability is related to the dissemination
capability of the emergency notification system. Specifically, mobility is based on the capability to receive emergency
notification regardless of geographic location. Portability, allows the notification system to be moved and
reprogrammed or designated for a new geographic position. This distinction is slight, but critical for this comparison.
bThere are many companies that provide this messaging system for a wide range of fees.

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this issue has no clarity on a national level, but it has been addressed in various
ways at the state and local levels. For instance, in Griffin v. Osage County
Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that “the dissemination of
weather information by a government agency . . . is generally held to be a
discretionary function,” which implies an unrestricted option to style and
approach to emergency public notification. Conversely, entire states such as New
Hampshire have passed laws establishing statewide emergency notification
systems.16

Although sirens will most likely never be eliminated as a component of
public emergency notification, it may be time for communities to reevaluate their
philosophies for strategic emergency public information. For instance, are sirens
the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for emergency public notification, or
should the location and impact of sirens be modified to outdoor locations with
high vulnerability (e.g., recreational parks and waterways)? Moreover, should
secondary systems that allow for mobility and portability be provided (i.e.,
purchased) or supported (i.e., subsidized) within a selected area? This need for
reevaluation is supported by research that indicates that improvements in
notification lead times for warnings (and therefore in siren sounding times) do not
show significant reduction in fatality and injury rates related to severe weather.17

Bold action and strong leadership will be necessary to adjust this industry
philosophy to become more in line with currently available technology and to
continue to use current research and communication techniques.

Unfortunately, recognizing the need to diversify public emergency
warning strategies to include technology based on mobility and portability will
not be easy or quick. Many communities have a significant commitment to the
infrastructure and technology of outdoor warning sirens. However, with local
economies and governmental budgets being restricted by the economic downturn,
now is a pivotal time for local leadership to thoroughly evaluate warning
strategies to ensure that future planning and implementation will result in the most
effective strategy to keep local communities as safe as possible from severe
weather and other community hazards.

16 State of New Hampshire, “Governor Lynch Signs Law Creating Emergency Notification
System,” http://www.governor.nh.gov/media/news/2010/070710-emergency-notification.htm
(accessed September 27, 2010).
17 Kevin M. Simmons and Daniel Sutter, (2006). “Improvements in Tornado Warnings and
Tornado Casualties,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 24, no. 3 (2006),
351369.

Legal requirements must also be considered when evaluating the
effectiveness of outdoor warning sirens versus other mechanisms. Unfortunately,

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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
When Status Quo Becomes Obsolete: The Changing Use of Outdoor Warning Sirens
When Status Quo Becomes Obsolete: The Changing Use of Outdoor Warning Sirens
Abstract

The social media manifesto: A comprehensive
review of the impact of social media on
emergency management

Adam Crowe
Received: 19th October, 2010

Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, 111 S. Cherry St.,
Suite 100, Olathe, KS 66061, USA
Tel: +1 913 715 1003; E-mail: [email protected]

Adam Crowe is a Certified Emergency Manager
(CEM) and Kansas Certified Emergency Manager
(KCEM) who currentiy serves as the Assistant
Director of Community Preparedness for
Johnson County (KS) Emergency Management &
Homeiand Security. He has spoken at numerous
nationai conferences in the USA and his work
has been pubiished in several professional jour-
nais inciuding the Journal of Homeland Security
& Emergency Management, Journal of
Homeland Security Affairs and the Disaster
Recovery Journal. He hoids a master’s degree in
public administration from Jacksonville State
University and a bachelor’s degree from Clemson
University.

ABSTRACT

Over the past five yeiir5, soda] media have
impacted emergency management and disaster
response in numerous ways. The emergency
management professional must begin to accept
this impact not as an arbitrary consequence of
an uncontrolled disaster, but rather as a tool to
help coordinate, manage and facilitate a saje and
expected response during emergencies and disas-
ters. This paper will explain the power and pur-
pose of social media as well as how social media
systems have equalised capabilities for all levels
and sizes of government. Moreover, this paper
will also Imhliçht the social media systems that
are being used as operational tools as well as
what the future holds. Lastly, common imple-

mentation challenges will he discussed through a
look at systematic approaches to applying social
media in emergency management as a positive
and valuable tool.

Keywords: social media. Web 2.0,
emergency management. Twitter,
Facebook

POWER AND PURPOSE

As the second decade of the 21st century
dawns, the biggest challenge for emer-
gency managers is the need to modify
long-standing philosophies on how to
communicate with citizens regarding
emergency preparedness and management
issues that might affect them. This com-
munication includes pre-event prepared-
ness and planning as well as responsive
crisis communications necessary during
the emergency or disaster. Traditional out-
reach has included providing educational
pamphlets and flyers during local presenta-
tions or community events where citizens
may receive the information along with a
plethora of other material from other
sources. Unfortunately, those citizens may
or may not be interested in receiving that
information and consequently will not be
sufficiently swayed to consider necessary
behavioural changes like personal pre-

Journai of Business Conrinuity
& Emergency Planning
Vol. 5 No. l . p p . 4(19-420
© Henry Stewart Publicitiotis,
I74’>-‘)216

The social media manifesto

paredness and/or prompt response when
directed by emergency officials. Moreover,
establishing trust between governmental
representatives and the general public is
challenging and again can lead to a lack of
behavioural change. These traditional
approaches and common challenges have
been the cornerstone of some of the most
significant communication issues faced by
emergency managers.

These challenges can be overcome (in
many ways) through the utilisation of
social media. Regardless of the system, a
shared connection of people and/or
organisations is created with common
values and interests, and choosing to
engage in the exchange of information for
the common good. Social media also
create an inherently higher trust factor for
information because of the shared net-
work of friends, contacts and organisa-
tions. It is noteworthy, however, that this
engagement of information can be good
or bad. This is why it is critical for emer-
gency managers to understand and engage
in the collaborative phenomenon of social
media. Consider, for example, Facebook.
It currently has over 500 million active
accounts, which means that it has more
users than the entire populations of
Russia, Japan and Mexico combined and
nearly twice as many as the population of
the USA. Or, put another way, were
Facebook a country, it would be the third
most populous in the world behind China
and India.^ In contrast to the traditional
model of education and outreach that is
offered where citizens may or may not be
spending their time, Facebook is where
communication and relationships are
actively happening. Specifically, an average
Facebook user has 130 friends, connection
to more than 80 community groups and
shares 90 pieces of personal content each
month.”‘ This type of pervasive establish-
ment of community is also common in
other social media outlets such as Twitter,

YouTube and several different blog
sources.

Twitter is arguably the second most
important social media site for emergency
management practitioners. While cur-
rently maintaining 105 million users (21
per cent of whom are active), media out-
lets of all levels and types actively utilise
this system to seek out and distribute
newsworthy information at a tremendous
pace.’* This pace of information dissemina-
tion is exponentially increased due to the
significant levels of mobile use of Twitter
and its redistribution (or retweet) func-
tionality of liked or trustworthy informa-
tion. Specifically, numerous third-party
applications (eg HootSuite and
TweetDeck) allow various forms of utilisa-
tion of Twitter such as monitoring and
direct messaging.

While impressive, many governmental
leaders and local emergency managers
worry about the credibility of systems like
Twitter that lack verifiable accounts (for
most governmental entities) and that
admittedly are often filled with insignifi-
cant and/or irrelevant information.
Alternative communication sites such as
Nixie were developed to address such
issues related to emergency management’s
use of Twitter as a public education and
information dissemination tool.
Unfortunately, the number of users (par-
ticularly media) of these alternative sys-
tems pales in comparison to Twitter and
therefore they are highly unlikely to be
impactful tools for emergency manage-
ment even though they allow for verifiable
accounts.

Nixie is just one of many social media
systems built to draw in people for specific
purposes, often related to emergency man-
agement and preparedness. For instance, in
early 2009, Microsoft announced the cre-
ation of Vine, a social media system
intended to serve as an emergency notifi-
cation and naonitoring system by friends

and family; however, by September 2010,
Microsoft had announced the discontinua-
tion of this system.” Citizens were not
finding Vine beneficial presumably because
they were not actively engaged on the
network, especially compared with
Facebook and Twitter. Based on the statis-
tics already mentioned, Facebook and
Twitter have estabhshed their supremacy
and should be treated as such by emer-
gency management. Emergency manage-
ment must be careful to distribute their
messages where local citizens are spending
time, not w^here they want them to be, to
avoid repeating the mistakes already estab-
lished through traditional outreach
approaches.

This premise is also true of how people
seek out information through the inter-
net. According to one major technology
publication, the web (as utilised by local
governments for the last decade) is dead.
Citizen activity has moved away from
static browsing for information towards
applications and mobile browsing.^’
Additional studies have indicated that
mobile browsing will overtake traditional
browsing by 2015 as the predominant way
in which most people will view the inter-
net.^ In the USA, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and the
National Weather Service have both
implemented new mobile and/or applica-
tion-based outreach services.**’̂ ^ Moreover,
the impact of this mobile browsing and
notification has caused exponential
growth at the local level due to the ability
of many jurisdictions to automate emer-
gency alert messages to established social
media outlets such as Facebook and
Twitter.'”

Interestingly, the availability of practical
emergency preparedness mobile applica-
tions is not limited to formal offerings
from governmental and quasi-governmen-
tal sources. There are a variety of apps
offered for free or minimal fees including

step-by-step guides for first aid, CPR, pet
preparedness and personal allergies,” as
well as function-based software including
flashlights'” and emergency dispatch
feeds. ‘ This type of information contin-
ues to carry common messages expressed
by emergency managers and/or creates a
transparency of information towards activ-
ities and direction.

LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD

As outreach philosophies are beginning to
change in the emergency management
field, the benefits of such a change have to
be understood. For instance, these benefits
are broad and multi-faceted, affecting
components including public education,
public communications and response
tools. Moreover, traditional approaches to
project management, technological devel-
opment, training and public involvement
are on the verge of revolutionary change
due to the inclusion of social media and
other Web 2.0 concepts. Specifically, there
are three fundamental rules of social media
application in emergency management:

• Conversations are key.
• No more middle man.
• It has got to be free.

These rules allow a levelling of the prover-
bial playing field between emergency
management programmes of all sizes and
at all levels of government.

Perhaps the most significant change
relates to the cost management of activities
related to emergency management pro-
jects. Social media and Web 2.0 concepts
often eliminate the need for costly devel-
opment of systems to manage emergency
management concepts such as planning,
exercise management and response mech-
anisms. These cost savings are possible due
to the establishment of robust networks,
servers and infrastructure by nearly all

Page 411

The social media manifesto

social media outlets such as Facebook,
Twitter,YouTube, Flickr and many others,
which generates a high level of confidence
•when used by emergency management or
other secondary sources.

A second reason these systems are
beginning to replace traditional mecha-
nisms is the implementation of cro^wd-
sourcing. Crowdsourcing allows tasks
typically performed by employees now to
be performed by a collection of individu-
als within a crowd who have no particular
connection outside of the ability to per-
form the desired function. Within emer-
gency management, cro^wdsourcing has
been used numerous times, most recently
by BP during the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico to collect suggestions about possi-
ble ways to stop the spill. BP received
more than 20,000 suggestions that were
categorised into not possible, already
planned or feasible. As a result, the com-
pany identified nearly 100 options that
•were feasible and previously unidentified
to stop one of the largest oil spills ever.
These response concepts and ideas were
made accessible to decision makers and
emergency responders in a more timely
manner and ultimately may have con-
tributed to the resolution of the incident
in a quicker and more efficient manner.

Additionally, a free crowdsourcing •web-
site called Ushahidi has been utilised
during several international emergencies
including the Haiti and Chile earthquakes
of early 2010. Ushahidi provided web-
based or mobile connectivity to collect
(from ‘the crowd’) information about the
incident. This included web-based maps
that provided real-time crowd-generated
information about health conditions,
infrastructure damage and localised emer-
gencies.”^ The speed and accuracy of this
type of information aggregation is impos-
sible for governmental or first responder
agencies utilising current systems. The
application of Ushahidi in these situations

provides strong support that the public’s
growing expectation of speed and breadth
of information is much greater than offi-
cial government communication channels
are currently able to provide.

Not only can emergency managers
utilise public gatherings and collection of
information, they also can self-define pre-
paredness and response messages as well as
certain operational processes. Specifically,
traditional media outlets (television, radio
and print) are vital partners in public dis-
semination of emergency management
messages; however, these groups innately
filter the message. This type of message
adjustment can be positive or negative, but
inherently happens for a variety of reasons
ranging from media bias due to time (or
space) limitations based on the format
utilisation for distribution. Social media
can help to eliminate and/or control this
process and allow emergency managers to
have an outlet for an unfiltered and fully
developed preparedness or response mes-
sage, which is critical to ensure public cit-
izens receive clear and consistent
information.

Likewise, operational processes such as
donations and volunteer management
have been significantly improved due to
the involvement and application of social
media. For instance, in 2009, the City of
Fargo, North Dakota, was responding to
significant flooding from the Red River
and was having difficulty arranging for
enough volunteers to support efforts
during the middle of winter. At the sug-
gestion of one local man who was already
volunteering, the community imple-
mented a Facebook group and generated
interest in volunteering that •was approxi-
mately equal to 5 per cent of their local
population, •which significantly improved
their response capabilities.”‘

Similarly, donations management has
successfully moved into the social media
and Web 2.0 realms after the American

Red Cross utilised financial donations
through text messaging in support of the
2010 earthquake in Haiti. Specifically, the
Red Cross was able to generate a total of
US$5m in donations within the first 48
hours’^ and US$30m within ten days of
the disaster. This figure ultimately
accounted for approximately 10 per cent
of the total donated to the relief funds and
represented a significant reduction in the
time commitment and resources often
necessary to collect, manage and process
donations generated in response to an
emergency or disaster.

Another example of cost-effective,
direct access training and public education
is the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s (CDC’s) utilisation of Second
Life. Second Life is an online virtual world
where users can create avatars (or digital
likenesses) and engage in the virtual envi-
ronment and communicate openly on var-
ious topics of interest. For instance, in
spring 2010, the C D C held a virtual talk
on Second Life about H l N l that was later
captured on video and shared via blogs
and YouTube. ^̂ ‘”‘” Second Life has also
been utilised by the University of Illinois,
Chicago School of Public Health, in con-
junction with the C D C to simulate mass
prophylaxis sites and distribution of mate-
rials after an anthrax attack.”̂ ^ This type of
systematic utilisation of a virtual environ-
ment has the opportunity ultimately to
decrease the cost of training and exercises
by minimising costs related to physical
setups and elimination of perishable items
necessary for resource intensive emer-
gency preparedness training and exercise
activities.

THE FUTURE IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT
NOW
There are many examples of how both
individual disasters and emergency man-
agenaent professionals have been impacted

by social media and Web 2.0 concepts.
These include the utilisation of Facebook,
Twitter and YouTube to name a few sys-
tems, as well as a strong push to redefine
the relationships between local govern-
ments, the media and their citizens. While
these issues may continue to be developed
and/or redeveloped in the near future, the
emergency management community also
will have the immediate opportunity to
begin to utilise various Web 2.0 tools that
are already available for free. These tools
are free because of a shared network of
servers, computers, networks and interre-
lated systems often referred to as the
‘cloud’. This cloud is utilised by all online
social media and Web 2.0 service providers
to ensure robust networks that are both
redundant and sufficient to meet the needs
of the end user. When this robustness fails,
the social media community often has
abandoned the system or come up with
colloquial monikers like Twitter’s ‘Fail
Whale’.”” This sector of clovid systems
represents numerous operational and
response tools that can (and will) be
utilised by emergency management as a
cost-effective alternative to many current
systems commonly used. For instance,
real-time collaborative editing tools would
be of great value to emergency managers
and first responders who are creating plan-
ning and public information documents
during an event. This type of tool would
allow for multiple users to be simultane-
ously creating a docunient rather than the
document being written, reviewed, edited
and then reviewed again prior to distribu-
tion or implementation. The time neces-
sary for review and approval for press
releases and other operational documenta-
tion could also be minimised and/or elim-
inated due to the simultaneous reading,
writing and editing of a document. Again,
this type of functionality is critical in
ensuring clarity and consistency of public
messages which are necessary to ensure

The social media manifesto

the public exhibits safe and expected
response behaviour.

The largest and most ambitious version
of this type of tool was Google Wave,
which was initially released in May 2009.
This system promised to have collabora-
tive editing with time-stamped tracking of
information management, which was pro-
jected as a possible new technology for
implementation in joint information cen-
tres (JICs) and other information manage-
ment sources. Unfortunately, Google was
unable to address issues identified during
its beta testing and ultimately shut down
Wave in August 2010. Since that time,
other software and browser-based collabo-
rative editing systems have been released
with Type With. Me showing the strongest
possibility for implementation similar to
what was initially projected for Google
Wave.

Additional cloud technologies that may
impact emergency management include
those systems that support information
management, organisation and distribu-
tion. Specifically, there is a group of social
media systems referred to as social book-
marking that allo’w for a web-based listing
and categorisation of internet links that
can be privately accessed through
login/password combinations and/or
shared publically. Not only is this type of
social media an excellent opportunity for
planning and operational response, it also
allows free and robust redundancy for
many emergency managers and emer-
gency operations centres (EOCs).
Likewise, there are similar online systems
that allow for free online storage of files
and online materials with almost no limit
to the size or type of file. Sources of these
services are sometimes fee-based, but there
are several robust free services such as
Drop.io, Evernote and MyOtherDrive that
could be utilised by emergency manage-
ment in this fashion.

Another powerful type of social media

tool available for emergency management
is referred to as social geolocation systems.
These tools include FourSquare, Go Walla,
Google Latitude and most recently the
implementation of Facebook Places.
While all are built on slightly different
models, these social media systems are all
based on the concept of utilising mobile
telephone devices to determine the geo-
graphic location of individuals. This geo-
graphic location, which is based on WiFi
and GPS signalling, allows for the individ-
ual user to be virtually engaged in the
actual environment that surrounds them.
For instance, if friends and/or favourite
restaurants were geographically close they
would appear in these systems and allow
for the establishment and/or increased
level of social interaction.

Emergency management utilisation of
social geolocation systems is in its infancy
(or even gestation in some cases) due to
the relatively recent establishment of this
technology; however, there are numerous
operational applications that could be
considered for usage including weather
spotting, search and rescue, damage assess-
ment and debris management. These
emergency management functions are
dependent upon field operations at diverse
geographic locations that are managed
from one central command location. This
makes communications, documentation
and technological implementation a
necessity and thus a viable option for
social geolocation systems. For instance,
debris management operations, due to the
necessity of contracted labour, are
extremely vulnerable to abuse and misre-
porting. Significant levels of process
accountability are required to eliminate
duplicate trips, weighted trucks and other
abuses. The utilisation of social geoloca-
tion systems would allow impacted juris-
dictions to require contracted workers to
identify themselves geographically over
certain intervals which could then be

Page 414

recorded and reviewed by emergency
management staff to ensure proper actions
were maintained. This functionality would
potentially improve accountability and
response as well as potentially streamlining
the activities necessary to document and
justify possible disaster reimbursements.
Likewise, weather spotters, damage assess-
ment teams, and search and rescue teams
would be able to be deployed to certain
geographic areas and report back real-time
observed information. While this reported
information typically would be done
through radio communications and/or
traditional paper documentation, social
geolocation systems allow for instanta-
neous reporting and capturing of the data
for faster processing by the field teams.
Having this type of information faster and
with greater reliability would be an
extremely valuable tool for efficient and
effective emergency management and
resource coordination.

Social geolocation systems like
Foursquare also allow for local geographic
holders like restaurants and bakeries to
offer announcements to individuals in the
geographic vicinity that include product
specials, coupons and other relevant infor-
mation. This type of functionality could
also be utilised by emergency manage-
ment entities to announce hazardous con-
ditions impacting that geographic range.
Simple messages suggesting emergency
evacuation, weather protection and/or
sheltering-in-place could be attached geo-
graphicaUy to local government buildings
and disseminated to those individuals util-
ising the social geolocation system.

While emergency managers have not
yet fuUy implemented social geolocation
systems for operational usage, many emer-
gency response agencies (at all levels of
government and response) have more
thoroughly implemented Web 2.0 map-
ping for geographic information analysis
and information sharing. This was particu-

larly utilised by media outlets and educa-
tors to show the progression of events like
the BP oil spill during the summer of
2010.^^ Perhaps the most powerful utilisa-
tion of socially-interactive maps was
Google’s Crisis Response Center that
integrated publically-generated YouTube
videos, visual mapping reports, oil spiU
forecasts from the National Weather
Service, spill containment berm locations
provided by the State of Louisiana and
satellite images of the spill provided by
NASA into the Google Map technology
that is free to all. The need for crowd-
sourced, real-time mapping for emergen-
cies and disasters is so well accepted that
Google has estabhshed MapMaker to help
facilitate just this concept.”‘*

The power of text messaging for the
improvement of donations management
has already been discussed in relation to
the American Red Cross’s fundraising fol-
lowing the Haiti earthquake in 2010;
however, text messaging has also become
an extremely powerful tool for mobile and
portable communications. According to
the latest Pew Internet research, 72 per
cent of US adults and 87 per cent of US
teenagers use cellular phone text messag-
ing on a regular basis, which is 9 per cent
more than one year ago.””” This high level
of utilisation is extraordinarily beneficial
to local emergency managers as it repre-
sents a relatively easy, cost-effective and
robust mechanism to communicate emer-
gency public information notifications to
citizens. This type of communication will
only continue to increase in usage and
impact over the next several years.

As established by Facebook and Twitter,
emergency managers would be doing
their local citizens an injustice by ignoring
the presence and growth of text messaging
within a community. Many jurisdictions
(especially schools and higher education
institutions) have utilised private compa-
nies to perform an automated text messag-

The social media manifesto

ing service; however, this is not as
common as a tool specifically utilised for
emergency messaging. Some emergency
management groups have tied Twitter’s
capability for text notification to provide
these services at a fraction of the cost and
with similar efficacy.” ‘̂

SLAYING THE GIANT
Even with the numerous examples of the
impact of social media on emergencies
and disasters, most local emergency man-
agement communities have yet to adopt
comprehensive use of social media.
Application of social media and Web 2.0
options falls into three categories:

• Proactive utilisation, including the active
usage of social media systems like
Facebook, Twitter and others previously
discussed to both disseminate informa-
tion and monitor public comments
regarding their agency and/or commu-
nity event. Proactive utilisation is the
most complicated use of social media
and requires the most time and
resources to master.

• Reactive utilisation of social media only
disseminates and/or monitors public
comments, but not both, and is the
most common application within
emergencies due to its more reasonable
utilisation of personnel, resources and
time.

• The inactive category covers those
organisations that are completely inac-
tive in social media. This inactive status
is probably the most dangerous to
emergency managers because it ignores
the significant impact of social media
on emergencies and disasters.

According to a recent study by the
American Red Cross, citizens are now
seeking out and utilising social media to
send and receive information. Specifically,

the online survey found that 20 per cent
of adults who could not reach 911 -would
try to contact responders through a digital
means such as e-mail or social media.
Moreover, 44 per cent of respondents
stated that they would ask other people in
their social networks to contact local
authorities on their behalf, 35 per cent
would post a direct request on a response
agency’s Facebook page and 28 per cent
would send a direct Twitter message to
responders.” More alarming for inactive
first emergency management and response
agencies is that this study also found that
69 per cent of respondents felt that first
responders should be monitoring social
media sites to send help quickly, and nearly
74 per cent expected emergency help to
come in less than one hour after a post to
Twitter or Facebook.”̂ ^̂ This survey clearly
states that the public expects proactive
social media usage by emergency manage-
ment and first response agencies. Based on
these findings, it is operationally, ethically
and politically irresponsible for local
emergency management organisations
simply to try and ignore social media’s
impact on their response.

These survey findings are fuUy sup-
ported by BP’s experience during the
2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP’s pres-
ence on Twitter immediately after the oil
spill in spring 2010 was not fully devel-
oped and lacked the content and added
value that the general public was seeking
out regarding this disaster. Unfortunately
for BP, this social media void was filled by
a satirical twitter account presenting itself
as an official source of BP public relations
•which posted inflammatory comments.
Interestingly, the number of followers of
the fake BP account outpaced the real BP
account nearly ten-fold.”‘^ As already
established, social media users (who are
ultimately local citizens) are seeking out
information via social media systems and
will seek sources that supply the informa-

Paae416

tion they are seeking whether the source is
legitimate or not.

In addition to the reactive versus proac-
tive challenge, another problem that emer-
gency managers and emergency public
information officers face is the balance
between style and substance. Social media
system users expect informal, conversa-
tional tones and language which often
includes colloquialism, slang, abbreviations
and misspellings. Unfortunately, this level
of informality is extremely uncommon in
official government information releases.
Consequently, emergency managers must
decide what level of modification they are
willing to accept. For instance, the US
Government released its social media
guidelines in 2010, which included main-
taining an active voice, use of present
tense, speaking directly to constituents,
utilisation of keywords and the avoidance
of colloquialism, slang and governmental
jargon.-“*”

Additionally, some emergency manage-
ment agencies are overwhelmed by the
process implementation required for utili-
sation of social media. This implementa-
tion includes the identification of
personnel to oversee social media and the
establishment of vigorous and realistic poli-
cies. Many emergency management offices
are small with only part-time or volunteer
support staff, which makes nê w concepts
like the application of social media chal-
lenging if leadership is not already passion-
ate about its use. Rather than seeking out
creative and innovative ways to be proac-
tive or at least reactive, some emergency
managers have taken the stance that the
social media phenomenon is simply a fad
that will pass if it is ignored long enough.
Unfortunately, this attitude that social
media will simply go away is short-sighted.
The utilisation of analytics and monitoring
measurement tools such as TweetDeck,
Google Analytics and Monitter show a
near constant social media discussion on

various issues impacting a jurisdiction. This
social media conversation will simply grow
exponentially during an emergency or dis-
aster and be occurring all around official
emergency management and response
whether local emergency managers
acknowledge it or not.”” These monitoring
tools are free and sufficiently dynamic to
search for certain terms, concepts and asso-
ciations to determine how the public is
discussing certain issues. Using these tools
ultimately will lead to more effective com-
munications with the public regarding the
incident in question.

Lastly, social media are also significantly
impacting operational response systems
like the US National Incident
Management System (NIMS) that help to
define a uniform and coordinated
response to emergencies and disasters.
Specifically, methods like NIMS define
processes to include the collection, analysis
and distribution of emergency public
information through a command and con-
trol system in which all messages are ulti-
mately approved by a single person with
ultimate authority for the overall opera-
tions (eg incident commander or EOC
manager); ” however, this revie^w and
approval process is antagonistic to the
speed and formality (or lack thereof) of
social media systems like Facebook and
Twitter.^ No system exists that effectively
and efficiently blends operational models
vith social media systems. Consequently,
this •will continue to be a challenge for
emergency managers until adjustments are
made to the operational response systems
that maintain levels of accountability and
control without eliminating the benefit of
utilising social media systems.

CONCLUSION
Although the utilisation of social media
systems by emergency management pro-
fessionals is in its early years, the future

The social media manifesto

benefits and applications are nearly
boundless. Emergency managers cannot
deny the fact that social media systems are
already being utilised by numerous citizens
and media outlets for the monitoring and
distribution of emergency public informa-
tion. Because of the ever-changing nature
of information related to disasters, social
media systems thrive in emergencies and
must be considered in all phases of emer-
gency management including prepared-
ness, response, recovery and mitigation.
Social media must begin to be employed
by emergency managers in conjunction
with traditional outreach to provide a
comprehensive and thorough mechanism
for the distribution of education and
emergency public information. Only this
type of approach will effectively ensure
emergency management professionals are
providing information in a timely and
effective manner via mechanisms that take
account of where citizens are, not where
they have been or are hoped to be.

Additionally, emergency managers have
a tremendous opportunity to implement
social media and Web 2.0 systems as oper-
ational response tools. Many of these sys-
tems potentially provide greater
accountability and safety as well as redun-
dant systems to store documentation,
resources and other vital response compo-
nents. This application is nearly always free
and easily integrated into or through
mobile browsing and/or applications,
which allows for significant mobility and
portabihty of these new operational tools.

The future of emergency management
is right now. The ability of social media to
improve real-time collaboration via cloud
networking or social geolocation systems
is already becoming a valuable tool and
will continue to be so as more emergency
management professionals learn more
about these systems and creatively apply
their uses to current response systems in
JICs and mapping centres. Moreover, aug-

mented reality may push these geographic
models into new cost-effective formats
and phases currently unimaginable by the

34

average emergency manager.
Implementation of social media is occur-
ring at many different levels and in many
different ways. These organisations should
be profiled and examined for best practices
and ideal application for certain emergen-
cies and/or crisis situations.’ ^ Moreover,
significant work must be completed
related to the recommended implementa-
tion of social media into emergency public
information systems to ensure they can be
utilised as a tool and ultimately benefit the
clear and consistent review of public mes-
sages. These best practices along with a
little creativity and ingenuity w îll help
drive the future of social media’s contin-
ued application in emergency manage-
ment. Social media systems are not going
away and neither are disasters, therefore, it
is paramount for emergency managers and
the profession as a whole to find ways to
understand and embrace how social media
are impacting their lives and communities.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

The figures used within this paper were
accurate in October 2010. The author
acknowledges that these figures are dynamic
and change with time.

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(16) MSNBC (2010) ‘Fargo uses social
networks to fight floodwaters’, available
at: http://wAvv.msnbc.msn.com/id/
29901184 (accessed 18th September,
2010).

(17) Mashable (2010) ‘Red Cross raises
$5,000,000+ for Haiti through text
messaging campaign’, available at:
http://mashable.com/2010/01/13/
haiti-red-cross-donations (accessed 18th
September, 2010).

(18) MSNBC (2010) ‘Mobile giving to help
Haiti exceeds $30 million’, available at:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/348505
32/ns/technology_and_science-wireless
(accessed 18th September, 2010).

(19) CDC (2010) ‘Virtual worlds — eHealth
marketing’, available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/healthinarketing/
ehm/virtual.html (accessed 20th
September, 2010).

(20) 111 Clan Animation Studios (2010) ‘CDC
discusses swine flu in second life’,
available at: http://www.illclan.com/iU-
blog/35-ill-blog/124-cdc-discusses-
swine-flu-in-second-life (accessed 20th
September, 2010).

(21) Medill — Northwestern University
(2010) ‘First responders meet in second
life: Public health enters the virtual
world’, available at:

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/ch
icago/news.aspx?id=l 14473 (accessed
20th September, 2010).

(22) ReadWriteWeb (2010) ‘The story of the
fail whale’, available at:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives
/the_story_ofLthe_fail_whale.php
(accessed 21st September, 2010).

The social media manifesto

(23) NewYork Times (2010) ‘Tracking the oil
spill in the Gulf, available at:
http://wvw.nytimes.com/interactive/
2010/0.5/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-
tracker.htinl (accessed 24th September,
2010).

(24) TED: Ideas Worth Spreading (2010)
‘Lalitesh Katragadda: Making maps to
fight disaster, build economies’, available
at: http://www.ted.com/talks/
lalitesh_katragadda_making_maps_to_
fight_disaster_build_economies.htnil
(accessed 26th September, 2010).

(25) Pew Internet (2010) ‘Cell phones and
American adults’, available at:
http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/
CeU-Phones-and-American-Adults.aspx
(accessed 26th September, 2010).

(26) Johnson County Emergency
Management & Homeland Security, ref.
10 above.

(27) American Red Cross (2010) ‘Web users
increasingly rely on social media to seek
help in a disaster’, available at:
http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/
menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43
181 aa0/?vgnextoid=6bb5a96d0a94a210
VgnVCM 1000()089f087()aRCRD
(accessed 28th September, 2010).

(28) Ibid.
(29) The Wall Street Journal (2010) ‘Fake BP

Twitter account followers with oil-spiU
satire’, available at: http://blogs.wsj.com/
digits/2010/05/24/fake-bp-twitter-
account-draws-foUowers-with-oil-spill-
satire (accessed 29th September, 2010).

(30) US Government (2010) ‘Social media

style and editorial guide for USA.gov’,
available at: http://www.usa.gov/
webcontent/docunients/socmed_
editorial_guidelines_041210.pdf
(accessed 28th September, 2010).

(31) Mashable (2010) ‘Top 10 Twitter trends
this week’, available at:
http://mashable.com/2010/05/29/
top-10-twitter-trends-this-week-chart-3
(accessed 30th September, 2010).

(32) FEMA’s Emergency Management
Institute (2010) ‘IS-702.a — National
incident management systems (NIMS)
public information systems’, available at:
http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is
702a.asp (accessed 3rd October, 2010).

(33) Journal of Homeland Security and
Emergency Management (2010) ‘The
elephant in the JIG: The fundamental
tlow in emergency public information
within the NIMS framework’, available
at: http://w~ww.bepress.com/jhsem/
vol7/issl/10 (accesssed 30th September,
2010).

(34) Billinghurst, M., Director of Human
Interface Technology Laboratory, New
Zealand (2010), personal interview, 7th
October.

(35) White, G. and Plottnick, L. (2010) ‘A
framework to identify best practices:
Social media and web 2.0 technologies
in the emergency domain’, available at:
http://www.slideshare.net/conniewhite/
a-framework-to-identify-best-practices-
social-media-and-web-20-technologies-
in-the-emergency-domain (accessed 4th
October, 2010).

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