Disaster Preparation – Social Media

Disasters Social Media

Ambience: Earthquake in Japan (sound file), crashing, items falling off shelves

The sounds of an earthquake in Japan, posted online, shortly after the event. Social media is changing the way that we respond to a natural disaster. I’m Jim Metzner and this it the Pulse of the Planet

Zobel: I don’t know that we want to base our systems on the use of social media, but I think it’s a very important tool to add more information to the picture.

Chris Zobel is a Professor of Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech. He helps municipalities and relief organizations to plan for disasters.

Zobel: One of the issues with social media is that it’s much harder to establish truthfulness of what somebody is saying. And so, you don’t necessarily want to put as much belief in Tweets coming from people you’ve never heard of before as you would from someone who’s a fireman who happens to be on the scene.

Zobel: There are a number of good examples of emergent groups where people have come together in response to, for example, the disaster in Haiti. There’s a group called Crisis Mappers that a bunch of people who are very good with computers and very good with maps got together and built a new piece of software to be able to identify in Port-au-Prince exactly where the damage was that occurred. And enabled them to provide a way for people who are in Port-au-Prince who may be buried under rubble to send a tweet saying, “I’m here.” The group back in the United States could then collect that information and then pass it along to people who were actually in-country, so that they then could mobilize the resources to go find those people.

I’m Jim Metzner and this it the Pulse of the Planet

Disaster Preparation - Social Media

Social media is changing the way that we respond to a natural disaster.
Air Date:06/15/2017
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Transcript:

Disasters Social Media

Ambience: Earthquake in Japan (sound file), crashing, items falling off shelves

The sounds of an earthquake in Japan, posted online, shortly after the event. Social media is changing the way that we respond to a natural disaster. I'm Jim Metzner and this it the Pulse of the Planet

Zobel: I don't know that we want to base our systems on the use of social media, but I think it's a very important tool to add more information to the picture.

Chris Zobel is a Professor of Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech. He helps municipalities and relief organizations to plan for disasters.

Zobel: One of the issues with social media is that it's much harder to establish truthfulness of what somebody is saying. And so, you don't necessarily want to put as much belief in Tweets coming from people you've never heard of before as you would from someone who's a fireman who happens to be on the scene.

Zobel: There are a number of good examples of emergent groups where people have come together in response to, for example, the disaster in Haiti. There's a group called Crisis Mappers that a bunch of people who are very good with computers and very good with maps got together and built a new piece of software to be able to identify in Port-au-Prince exactly where the damage was that occurred. And enabled them to provide a way for people who are in Port-au-Prince who may be buried under rubble to send a tweet saying, "I'm here." The group back in the United States could then collect that information and then pass it along to people who were actually in-country, so that they then could mobilize the resources to go find those people.

I'm Jim Metzner and this it the Pulse of the Planet