Social Media in the Emergency Management Field
Quite a bit is known about the public’s social media habits, including the public’s expectations concerning emergency management agencies’ use of social media. For example, 76 percent of adults responding to a 2012 American Red Cross survey expect help to arrive in less than three hours if they post an emergency-related request on social media. However, what is not well known are the perspectives of emergency managers toward social media. Do they feel emergency management agencies should be monitoring social media? Do their agencies’ capabilities for social media align with public expectations?
To date, much of the data on social media and emergency management is limited to anecdotal accounts or case studies. Thus, CNA, in partnership with the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), funded the development and nationwide distribution of a 56-question survey to state, county, and local emergency management and response agencies in late 2012 to answer questions about social media use in emergency management. By taking a survey approach, we were able to provide a broader, complementary perspective to existing anecdotes and case studies. This report provides the key results of that survey.