Fire, Wind and Water: Social Networks in Natural Disasters

Mark Freeman (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 79
EISBN13: 9781613503867|DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2011040105
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This case examines the issue of increasing adoption of Social Networking Technologies (SNTs), particularly microblogging, for emergency management practices during natural disasters. It discusses the technologies and how they are an integral part of information transfer for citizens in the geographic region affected by the natural disaster. This case presents the progression of how SNTs have been used during and in the aftermath of natural disasters in Australia between 2009 and 2011; these events are used as ‘organization’ for the paper. Accurate and timely information during natural disasters is essential in providing citizens with details about whether they should stay or leave an area. Traditionally, information was provided through television and radio broadcasts; however, these types of communications were one-way and only allowed for the push of information to citizens. SNTs are being used by the media and emergency organizations to provide information to citizens. These technologies are dynamic in their approach, allowing for knowledge sharing of all parties involved.
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