SAVER TechNote: Emergency Manager and First Responder Use of Social Media Updates [July 2017] [open pdf - 357KB]
"Social media platforms connect, entertain and inform millions of users every day. Individuals can instantly create, upload and share messages, images, videos and other types of content through social networks on a variety of web-based and mobile platforms. Recently introduced social media features and updates present unique opportunities for first responders not only to disseminate agency content and information, but also to facilitate operations by harnessing the publicly available data on these platforms. Comprehensive, up-to-date utilization of social media can engage and educate communities, ensure effective emergency communications and enhance incident tracking, mitigation and response. In 2013 and 2014, SAVER published a report and an application note detailing the basics of the social media platforms then available and their uses for emergency response. Understanding these platforms--and the features, releases and updates that have emerged since--can help emergency managers monitor and respond to incidents and other activities. Agencies might also increase their social media effectiveness by training their staff to handle the potentially overwhelming social media activity triggered by an incident, and by establishing a social media presence prior to incidents. Cultivating a social media audience and gaining a reputation as a go-to source for timely, reliable information can help emergency responders build trusting relationships in communities, which could lead to vital cooperation during an emergency."
Department of Homeland Security: https://www.dhs.gov/