5 must-have social media tools for EMS
Here are five tools EMS departments can deploy to better manage their social media presence
On July 22, 2014, the U.S. congress passed the Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) act. The act allows the government and private agencies to collaborate and create the best strategies for using social media during emergencies.
Creating a social media plan before, and after, an emergency can be simple when using these five social media tools.
First To See
This is a software that searches, gathers and delivers any social media conversations that an emergency manager requests. For example, if you have reports of a factory gas explosion with employees trapped inside, the software will search any of the words you chose so you can have better situational awareness as the first responders arrive on the scene.
First To See also has an app for the public to send messages and pictures directly to their local emergency officials.
Social media is public record and must be maintained in accordance with federal and state laws. Archive Social captures social media conversations, feeds, digital signatures and locations instantaneously.
Archive Social is a fully automated solution that complies with record keeping requirements. Government agencies also can respond to Freedom of Information Act requests with this tool.
The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)
Presidential Executive Order 13407 was created after Hurricane Katrina for federal, state, territorial, tribal and local government organizations to alert the public of an emergency. IPAWS’ recent updates let agencies connect through social media.
A Twitter Alert delivers critical emergency communications during crisis or disasters to the public. Law enforcement, emergency management agencies and municipal governments can send highlighted tweets, text or app notifications.
Social Media in Emergency Management
This is a three-hour Emergency Management Institute course. The course is online and suggested for emergency managers and public information officers.
Social media can be an essential tool for government agencies in the midst of an emergency. But it has to be managed vigorously.