Social MediaIt is our staff’s assumption that many disaster preparedness, first responder or disaster recovery team members fully recognize the growing role which social media and its social networks play as the primary source of news and information when disasters occur.

In a recent InfoGraphic, the University of San Francisco Online Master of Public Administration group organized findings from a variety of surveys which collectively bring home the fact that during disasters, social networks often replace 911 as the go-to source for help and assistance in many communities throughout the U.S.

A quick glance at some of the other findings shown in this Info Graphic would include at least the following observations:

  1. One (1) in five (5) Americans have used an emergency app on their smartphones or portable devices,
  2. 80% of Americans expect emergency response agencies to monitor and respond to social media platforms,
  3. 76% of Americans contact friends and family via social networks to make sure they are safe,
  4. 18% retrieve emergency information through Facebook,
  5. 33% of social media users expect help to show up within 60 minutes of a posting, and
  6. At its peak, Instagram users uploaded Hurricane Sandy related photos at a rate of ten (10) every second.

How survivors and disaster recovery and rescue teams harness social media in the future can only strengthen its position as a critical component in the disaster recovery process over time.

Certainly, if you’re D/R or incident response team – where you work or where you live – requires additional testimony to the value-added purpose and role of social media/networks —then this InfoGraphic fills the bill.

Click here to view the full InfoGraphic, review its source materials, and better understand how social media has revolutionized communications during natural disasters.

What role does social media play in your business continuity or disaster recovery plan where you work, in the community where you live, and/or simply in your own family’s emergency response plan?

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