Any question that Social Media is an effective tool in Emergency Management and Disaster Response should be answered now. We have seen Social Media used in Haiti, Iran, Tunisia, and now in Egypt, to name the more recent and well-known.
What may not be readily obvious is how Social Media has enabled communications to persevere in the most dire circumstances. When Twitter was shut down in Egypt, the savvy were able to use mobile apps to keep getting the message out to the world. We saw the use of multiple communication channels in Haiti keep communications open from devastated regions.
Social Media is a network of multiple applications and communications channels. The resilience of Social Media overcomes political and natural barriers
Eric Holdeman, in the publication Emergency Management, calls for Social Media to continue to play a part. As he says;
“People galvanized for a single purpose can do great things. They can topple dictators, fill sandbags, evacuate a city, help one another survive. … Social media will need to be a major factor in how that effort is brought to bear, before, during and after a disaster.”