Emergency Communications Are Increasingly Being Distributed On Social Media Networks
Social media networks began as a tool for personal use. A way to be connected and stay in touch with our friends and family. Then businesses jumped on board and now anyone or any group uses them. The last several years, social media networks have exploded! You can pretty much find a social media network for anything.
Recently, I got invited to a social media network for my neighborhood called “Nextdoor”. At first I was skeptical, but it’s another way I can be kept informed. And who doesn’t want to be more informed about the place they live. I especially like the “neighborhood watch” aspect of the network. People look out for one another. It’s another place for people, both residents and local law enforcement, to post emergency communications. And like many social media networks, Nextdoor’s app allows for Smartphone notifications for instant access to information.
Nextdoor isn’t the only social media network that has the capability to distribute emergency communications. In January, Facebook announced a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to send AMBER Alerts to the Facebook community to aid in the searches for lost children — a very timely endeavor.
Experts even believe we may be better prepared for some situations because of social media networks’ ability to send emergency communications. For example, Mark Fox, the National Weather Service’s warning coordination meteorologist, says “while many people were caught off-guard by that late-afternoon EF-3 tornado [on March 28, 2000],” today, “our hyper-connected world would help spread the word. Besides constant updates on Twitter, numerous smart phone apps also provide live weather alerts1.”
And in addition to social media network notifications, many organizations from shopping malls to corporate offices and hospitals are implementing mass notification systems to be able to send emergency communications. The benefit of a mass notification system is that organizations can send emergency communications that are specific to the developing situation and include detailed instructions for employees, tenants, staff and even customers.
Last October, JLL (formerly Jones Lang LaSalle) used its recently implemented mass notification system (our very own RedFlag!) to send emergency communications at shopping centers on the islands of Oahu and Maui in advance of hurricanes Iselle and Ana.
Mass notification systems include social media network notifications within their multi-channel approach. While using a mass notification system, an organization can essentially send emergency communications via social media networks, text messages, voice calls and desktop alerts reaching an unlimited number of people. It’s an “all in one” approach to save time during an urgent situation.
Social media and emergency communications isn’t just a thing. It’s a big thing! Check out the hashtag, #SMEM (short for social media emergency management) on Facebook and you’ll find all sorts of organizations using the widely used social media network to distribute relevant information.
March 22-26th was national flood safety awareness week. You can find several organizations that used Facebook to create awareness about flood safety including the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management and the National Security Team at the Conference Board of Canada.
You’ll also find earthquake warning and preparedness information, American Red Cross updates and lots of articles about the use of social media networks and their effectiveness in distributing emergency communications.
Social media networks created the opportunity for the increased speed and effectiveness of communicating with one another. Who doesn’t love their social media networks for that?! Love them not just because they are fun, but love them because they have the ability to keep you updated, informed and aware of an endless number of things including what to do in a worst case scenario.
For more information about distributing emergency communications on social media networks give us here at Pocketstop a call today at 877-840-2444. We can help you build a vigorous emergency communications plan centered around our mass notification system, RedFlag. You can also live chat with us today by visiting our website at www.pocketstop.com.