Social Media Use in Emergencies and Disasters



After today’s tragic events at the Boston Marathon, I began to think about social media how it’s revolutionized our way of discovering current events. Today while on my break from class, I had been browsing twitter and had discovered that “#PrayforBoston” “#explosion” were trending tags. Confused, I had looked and discovered what had happen during the marathon. I was amazed when I realized that twitter was how I found out about the disaster, and I wouldn’t have known until later on in the day when someone told me, or if I had seen something on television.

Numerous previous disasters have left their mark on social media as well. This article  focuses on Hurricane Sandy, and how social media was used to keep people updated on shelters, safety and weather updates. FEMA has also increased it’s use of social media to keep in touch with with people during emergencies and disasters. This article  on abc discusses the Newtown shooting, and it’s impacts on social media. Many new voices have been brought to social media as a result of the proposed changes to the gun control policy. also has a great infographic  on how we use social media during emergencies as well.

As this class has shown us, social media is a wonderful way of keeping in touch with the world. As we pray and morn for those who are involved in today’s disasters, social media continues to prove itself to be a great tool on keeping up with events as soon as possible.


6 thoughts on “Social Media Use in Emergencies and Disasters

  1. Nice post Lindsay. It’s true social media acts as a great way to keep the general population informed of current events such as the happenings of the Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook, and weather disasters like Hurricane Sandy. It’s nice to see our social media sites actually give us information about current events. Though no one wants a Sandy Hook to happen, I am grateful that social media is good for something more than just posting our own interests and personal events. Seriously such an awful thing. We see such an outpour of support when disasters like this happen it makes you wonder who the people are that are behind all of these awful crimes. As far as I can see our general population acts out of love, not hate so where are these hateful people hiding? How can we prevent things like this from happening? We try to restrict gun laws, but this is just proof that the violent will act no matter what laws are in place. Praying for peace.

  2. I think that this is so interesting, because, honestly I learn about things that happen and big events like this from FaceBook and twitter. THEN I go check to see what everyone is talking about on a news site. If it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t know much about current events other than what pops up in my notifications for some of my news apps (that I never actually use).

  3. This is definitely really true, I see the majority of news and information via twitter and Facebook. It really is alot faster and more convenient to just follow the local news station, or ur favorite anything then to look it up online or even wait for it to come up on tv. The article i posted last week was similar to this so im glad that you saw a common interest in how social media is really a productive was to keep track of most news events
    -Mike Taylor

  4. I think that this is very true. When I first found about the tragic, I was in a meeting and didnt see it on the breaking new instead I saw it on Facebook. It was unclear what was going on, so once I heard the news. I headed straight back onto Facebook to make sure that all my friends that lived in Boston we okay. Social media keeps us so connected that instead of calling my whole family and friends to see how they were. I could look on Facebook and most of them had post up, so I knew they were okay.

    Lauren Hopper

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