Incase of Emergency… Facebook?

This infographic shows the ways that people and organizations are using social media to provide updates and keep in touch during emergencies.

According to this infographic, people use Twitter in multiple emergency situations that range anywhere from providing information during the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks to various natural disasters.

One of the benefits of Twitter and Facebook is that it is instant.

There are more than 6 million individuals and organizations on Twitter and more than 400 million on Facebook.

One of the examples on this info-graphic was a Tweet that said, “Need a paramedic on corner of John Wesley Dobbs and Jackson St. Woman on the ground unconscious. Pls ReTweet”

I’m not sure how efficient it is to Tweet something like that instead of calling 911. While instantaneous news-feeds like Twitter and Facebook are effective for situations where no one can be reached by phone, calling 911 should always be the first option in the case of a real emergency.

When I told my dad about the use of Facebook and Twitter during emergencies, he laughed at me. His said that during a natural disaster that causes everyone to lose phone and internet service, social media is irrelevant.

This lead him to plan what we were suppose to do as a family, in case there was an emergency where we couldn’t contact each other. That is another story for another blog though, back to the original reason for this post…

This infographic asks the question “In an area-wide emergency, how likely would you be to use social media channels to let your friends and family know you are safe?”

28% of people said they “definitely would”, and I’m in this category with them.

Social media is an instant way to get the word out about a crisis or disaster in the area and can spread the message a lot faster than a phone call could.

What do you think? Would you use Facebook or Twitter in case of an emergency?

Photo by Niccolò Caranti

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One thought on “Incase of Emergency… Facebook?

  1. I have used both platforms to assist in an emergency and to notify of an emergency. Early 2008 there was a group of about 30 people that did not know each other, we saw a tweet from a guy in Florida, I saw it here in Oregon we all worked together and was able to notify local authorities which then found his apartment and were able to send medical assistance all within a very short time. This happens more than you think, most Universities have Twitter as an Emergency notification service. It is better than the calling system because it is one or two tweets and everyone knows or can pass on to others. I can not wait for the next media system to roll through the internet because it is going to be very interesting.

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