From Concept to Reality: Operationalizing Social Media for Preparedness, Response and Recovery

Hanscom, Donald H., Jr.

Social media and collaborative technologies have become critical components of emergency preparedness, response and recovery. From the international response efforts after major tsunamis to hurricane recovery in major U.S. cities, many government officials now turn to social media technologies to share information and connect with the community during all phases of a crisis. Implementing these new technologies, however, requires agencies to adopt new communication strategies, policies and engagement methods.

Recognizing the need to address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) established a Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG). The mission of the VSMWG is to provide guidance to the emergency preparedness and response community on the safe and sustainable use of social media technologies before, during and after emergencies.

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