Opportunities using social media for emergencies.
Challenges in using social media in crisis management (unwanted demonstrations, crime, flashmobs, etc)
What are the best practices in social media use?
Case studies in the use of social media (Boston Marathon Bombing, Hurricane Sandy Hughes et al.,2014,etc)
The trustworthiness of social media and verification of information
How social media shapes perceptions around how members of the public participate in an emergency
Does social media really provide some aspect of situational awareness for the emergency manager
Trainor and Subbio (2015) define social media as applications such as Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook based on the internet and that is used primarily for social interaction. The public is now easily involved in research and disaster issues since maps, videos, photos, texts, and other important information can be shared through the different social media platforms available to help contribute to information regarding a crisis. According to Mark and Irina (2011), social media has become one of the most used and influential means of communication around the world as there has been an advancement in technology that has provided people with easy access to social media sites. These sites are today used in disaster events as responders, and eye witnesses can readily explain the happenings in the crisis. According to Kapur (2017), information obtained from social media sites is first-hand information that can be used to assess a disaster situation, determining the location of victims, and examining the extent of their needs at the time. Therefore, the use of social media to broadcast information regarding a crisis is important in response to the situation and the recovery process. The social media platforms also provide an opportunity for rescue teams and emergency response teams to connect and cooperate with the public in offering volunteer services, and to access people in disaster areas with warnings, alerts, and preparedness messages.
In recent years, the possibilities of the public participation in the disaster have greatly expanded especially with the technological advancements. Social media has created a wide-spread platform where the public can interact. Mark and Irina (2011) state that this interaction between the members of the public is resourceful as it helps generate mass information that is not readily available to emergency response teams that use the traditional means of communication and management. Lindsay (2011) writes that social media provide opportunities such as recovery efforts, emergency warnings and requests for assistance, public preparedness, monitoring, and situational awareness. Social media sites also offer great openings to change to a new interactive platform between the public and emergency management professionals.
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