Is Twitter A Part of Your Emergency Plan? It Should Be.

When disaster strikes, or is coming, everyone turns to the news. But not the news on the television or radio as in the past. They turn to the news via social media, particularly to Twitter.
 
The live, public forum has given governments, media outlets, and private citizens alike the means and opportunity to exchange information. The collaboration that has come from this platform is unprecedented, such as in:
 
2014 – Kashmir floods in South Asia – citizens organized to help those working on the ground, entirely through Twitter
2016 – India was struck by disaster and @TwitterIndia worked with all parties concerned to focus and implement the relief operations
 
Since then Twitter has worked with relief agencies directly to plan workshops and develop best practices. Twitter can, and should, be part of your organizations emergency communication plan.
 
When you need to get quick, first-hand information, or want to see examples on how to use Twitter in times of disaster, turn to these Twitter accounts.
  1. The National Weather Service (NWS) provides up-to-date weather information, offering regular updates and encouraging safety in extreme weather.
  2. CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response is responsible for managing public health crises, including epidemic outbreaks and other public health threats.
  3. National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)is a government agency responsible for overseeing disaster management throughout the United States.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees all aspects of health and wellness through the United States.
  5. CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response is a branch of the CDC offering information and assistance in situations that require disaster management resources, especially in terms of public health.
  6. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)is the primary government entity that coordinates disaster relief efforts in the United States.
  7. Ready.gov is a FEMA-sponsored website that keeps residents informed and offers helpful disaster preparedness information.
  8. American Red Cross is one of the largest aid organizations, providing disaster relief, blood donations, and lifesaving CPR certification.
  9. Department of Homeland Security oversees all disaster management and other security issues throughout the country.
  10. Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response provides the public with information on public health, disaster preparedness, and recovery.
When the time comes, the connections you have on Twitter can help your response. Make these connections in advance, just like with your mutual aid plans. Do you have a favorite account that we missed? Let us know! And make sure to follow us on Twitter as well!
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