The guide, “Social Media in an Emergency: A Best Practice Guide” was developed for the emergency management sector in New Zealand by the Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group and prepared by Opus International.
Due to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki’s role as a global hub facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing across all industry sectors, we were asked to facilitate an international review of the draft guide by experts in SMEM to provide insights and input.
As well as the emergency sector these experts were also drawn from the health, government, academia and private sectors (see list of contributors below).
While developed for emergency managers, this guide provides valuable generic content and practical tips, checklists and templates that could be adapted by all industry sectors aiming to become emergency 2.0 ready.
Before an Emergency
- Important considerations before engaging in social media
- Technology types
- Policy and strategy
- Staffing and resourcing
- Streamlining information release and labelling of reliability
- Legal considerations
- Building your online presence
During an emergency
- Resource allocation
- Links with the community and other organisations
- Building trust with the community during an event
- Information out (including alerts and information release, addressing rumours)
- Information In (analytic tools, validating community information)
After an Emergency
- Some quick tips (including evaluating your social media response)
Checklists and templates
- Checklists for actions to take before, during and after an emergency
- Templates for monitoring of information, and information release and alerts
It is important to highlight this is only the third social media for emergency management guide in the world to be published and made freely available online (if you know of any others please tell us). The other two, also available via the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Library are:
- “Project to Advance Crisis and Emergency Communications” via Partnerships Towards Safer Communities (PTSC-Online) created for the Canadian emergency management sector
- “Use of Social media in crisis communication” via Kortom created for the Flemish emergency management sector
These guides were also referenced in the development of this guide, as was the Emergency 2.0 Wiki. We have also added the guide as a resource to the Wiki Emergency Preparation, Emergency Response and Emergency Recovery sections.
International Review Contributors
We would like to thank the following experts (drawn from the emergency, government, health, academia and private sectors) who contributed their time and expertise to reviewing the guide:
- Belinda Hayes – Department of Sustainability and Environment (Victoria, Australia)
- James Garrow – Philadelphia Department of Public Health; Face of the Matter Blog (USA)
- Kim Stephens – iDisaster 2.0 blog; Emergency 2.0 Wiki Reference Group (USA)
- Lew Short – New South Wales Rural Fire Service; Emergency 2.0 Wiki Reference Group (NSW, Australia)
- Martin Anderson – Country Fire Authority (Victoria, Australia)
- Patrice Cloutier – Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services; Crisis & Emergency Communications Blog on PTSC-Online (Canada)
- Ross Monaghan – Deakin University (Victoria, Australia)
- Sandeep Varma – Senior Adviser, Police & Emergency Management Division, Department of Justice, (Victoria, Australia)
We hope this guide will help to accelerate the adoption of social media for emergency management globally and we encourage you all to share it widely. It is also available online for free download from the Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group website.
Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary role)