Brisbane City Council’s social media use during the floods of January 2011

Brisbane City Council Floods House Image

Flood affected house in Brisbane - Brisbane City Council

The flood events in Queensland in January 2011 continue to haunt many individuals throughout the state. With record-breaking flood levels in many areas, the City of Brisbane prepared itself for what some feared may be flooding worse than the infamous 1974 floods which engulfed the city. Brisbane City Council knew that they needed to quickly and efficiently communicate with as many residents as possible, so alongside door-knocking, media releases, radio announcements and more, they turned to social media to help disseminate information quickly and accurately.

The response to Council’s social media use during the flood has been overwhelmingly positive and the Independent Review conducted into the flood earlier this year commended Council’s use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help spread urgent information to the community. As Council’s social media officer, it has been extremely satisfying to know that we used social media in the floods in such a widely acclaimed way. More importantly however, it was most satisfying to see the impact it had on individual lives, as well as the wider community. This case study highlights the way that we handled our social media in a crisis and the impact it had on helping to clean up Brisbane after the floods.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki will add this case study to the to the resources section and ensure that we incorporate the learnings into the development of the guidelines.  We are also keen to crowdsource case studies on how social media was used during the Christchurch Earthquake, the Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster and the recent US Tornados. Please contact us if you can assist.