Helping to share emergency information

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Main Page | Emergency Response | Helping to share emergency information

Contributor Info
Reference Group Emergency Response
Additional Contributors Eileen Culleton, Matthew Kassay

This section aims to help build community resilience by showing how organisations from all industry sectors can use social media to share information to help our emergency agencies, our stakeholders and the broader community.



  • Retweets “Please RT”
    • You can instantly share emergency messages by retweeting
    • To quickly retweet to your followers, press the retweet button
    • To maximise the message getting out to the world, put “RT” in front of the message, then it will act like a hashtag and everyone can pick it up.
    • If the emergency agency message doesn't have a #hashtag add it yourself when you retweet the message
    • If the message doesn't have the time you need to add it before retweeting the message. Eg if it is "10.00am" and the tweet was sent 10 minutes ago, you need to state the time as "9.50am". This is important to ensure that emergency agencies, the media and the community are acting on accurate information.

Using Widgets

Widgets are simple and lightweight containers of information from different online sources which can be published on a website, a crisis site, downloaded as a ticker etc... The content is automatically updated and - if need be - can be moderated.

Below an example of a widget, created for free with Widgetbox and showing (with updates in real time) constant search results on Twitter for the hashtag #SMEM (social media for emergency management).



  • 'Like' emergency agencies and key media
  • 'Like' emergency messages and comment on them
  • Click on 'Share' to post emergency agency messages on your own profile


  • Tweet links to Emergency services Youtube videos
  • Share Emergency Services Youtube videos on Facebook (post on your profile)

Real Time Community Maps

During an emergency maps are created online to provide realtime updates from emergency agencies and the community:

  • Add your own information on what is happening in your local area to these maps
  • Look for reports near you
  • Share community maps on your facebook page
  • Tweet links to community maps
  • Many community maps have a mobile app that will enable you to view and add information from your mobile phone eg "Jones Bridge closed"

Example Hurricane Irene Clean Up Efforts - For Ordinary People Helping Ordinary People "Disaster responders cannot be everywhere at the same time. The purpose of this site is to help ordinary people help themselves."

Other References

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