DHS VSMWG Best Practices for Incorporating Social Media into Exercises

Hanscom, Donald H., Jr.
 To institutionalize social media into all aspects of an agency’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery operations, social media should be incorporated into exercises. Using social media in exercises helps prepare first responders for real-life events where the public increasingly uses social media to share and gather information. Exercises provide an opportunity for first responder and public safety agencies to integrate unconventional information channels into an operational environment without burdening time-crunched responders.
This report discusses how agencies and organizations can integrate social media into exercises, provides suggestions for the planning processes and methods for conducting the exercise and evaluation, and lists challenges associated with using social media in exercises, areas of future research and case study examples for agencies.