Social Media Important in Disasters and Emergencies

Those of you who use social media will have noticed it being used more and more in instances of disasters and emergencies. It’s turned out to be useful tool for people to reach out to communicate and get help in a crisis and it’s amazing how times have changed with more people using social media expecting help from first reponsders.

Now it seems a new survey by the American Red Cross has looked into how many people would turn to using social media in a time of crisis and asked 1,058 respondents about how they would use it. An article over on MediLexicon sourced from the Red Cross and originally posted on Medical News Today, tells some of the answers. Apparently one in five people would turn to e-mail, websites or social media if they couldn’t get help from 911, to try to contact responders.

A response agency’s Facebook page would be used by 35% to ask for help if it was needed and 28% of users would send a Twitter message to responders. Things have certainly altered with the coming of social media as it seems 69% of respondents in the survey expect that emergency responders should be checking social media sites for requests for help and almost half believe that this already takes place.

A staggering 74% of people expect help to arrive from a Facebook post or Tweet within one hour. An Emergency Social Data Summit today in Washington DC will be looking into the findings of the survey to investigate how better to deal with web requests during an emergency. For more on this go to medilexicon.com. Would you turn to social media in a time of need? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this so do send us your comments please.