Social Media to the Rescue

Social Media to the Rescue

Earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, OH MY! In the midst of a natural disaster or emergency, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it’s letting friends and loved ones know you are safe. But, with the advent of social media, smartphones and tablets, the way people choose to do that now comes in many forms.

In a recent post, Modernizing 911 for the Digital Age, I remarked on recent developments to help emergency responders accept new kinds of data, including text messages and multi-media messages. But, looking at those who are actually sending data in emergencies, what kinds of platforms are most popular? A recent infographic on MSNBC’s Technolog from the American Red Cross reveals insight into this question, along with some other surprising stats. How would you prefer to let people know you’re safe in an emergency?

  • 24% of Red Cross survey respondents would use social tools to tell others they’re safe
  • 18% use Facebook to get info about emergencies
  • 80% of respondents expect emergency responders to monitor social sites
  • 20% would try an online channel to get help if unable to reach EMS
  • 20% of survey respondents who experienced an emergency posted something about it on a social site
  • Online news is the third most popular source for emergency info, behind TV and radio

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