Social networking sites are not only being used by people for posting trivial things like what they had for breakfast. According to American Red Cross, people are using sites like Facebook and Twitter along with mobile devices and online news outlets to monitor storm tracks, seek help and spread news about their conditions making these sites ‘integral’ to disaster response.
Just a couple of months ago when an earthquake shook the East Coast from Georgia to Maine, people were quick to turn to social networking sites, reporting the tremors on Twitter and posting updates on Facebook. They were so quick that they even beat online news sites to it. The Hurricane Irene that is roaring inland is also getting the same amount of attention on social networking sites. And this isn’t a first. When a series of tornadoes hit the U.S. South this spring, people used Facebook to help victims find things they’d lost in the storms. Even the recent snowstorm that rocked the NE was reported on Twitter, Facebook and through social networks.
The 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan this past March also succeeded in generating quite a lot of Facebook and Twitter activity. According to Online Social Media, a company that tracks social networks, Twitter users were posting 1,200 tweets every minute an hour after the massive quake shook the country.
A Red Cross survey of 2,047 people conducted both online and over the telephone found out that 80% of the general population and 69% of those surveyed online expected national emergency response organizations to regularly monitor social networks to respond promptly. And 39% of online users said they would expect help to arrive in less than an hour after posting a plea for help online. The survey also found that a third of online users would use social sites to let loved ones know they are safe.
Disaster response! This gives us yet another reason to stay logged in!
Looking for help in and around Orange County regarding social networking for marketing and communications, call your Irvine IT support team at Greenlight to learn more.