Emergency Management and the Use of Social Media

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Release date: 
January 5, 2012
Release Number: 
4042-024

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- Survivors of the Aug 23 earthquake from the City of Fredericksburg, and the counties of Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Orange, Spotsylvania and Louisa are eligible for Individual Assistance (IA). How can people in these locations find the information they need? One way is through social media.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintain Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites. These sites contain updates in the form of news, information and videos on disaster recovery and information on preparing for the next time disaster strikes.

"Events worldwide have demonstrated how quickly social media can connect people and allow them to share information and help one another," said Federal Coordinating Officer Don Keldsen. "We have been able to reach the survivors of disasters through our continued posting to social media websites such as twitter and facebook."

"When the earthquake hit on Aug 23, cell phone service was not available," said State Coordinating Officer Michael Cline. "Many turned to facebook and twitter to communicate with their family and friends."

VDEM and FEMA want to encourage anyone who uses personal computers or smartphones to stay up to date by accessing the following social media sites:

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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