Social Media Use in Disaster – Joplin

An Analysis of Lessons Learned by Joplin Volunteers
Download When we first became aware of the Joplin Tornado Information Facebook Page, we at Firestorm were impressed with the effort.

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Click here for the entire white paper (Updated May 25, 2012)

As the crisis evolved, we were doubly impressed with the clarity of information and service to the page’s community members.

The Social Media Disaster Communication lessons learned from the JTI experience are many, and we are proud to support the people who came together in this experience.

Rebecca and Genevieve Williams of Neosho, Mo, and David Burton, documented their experience in a comprehensive white paper, one we are pleased to be allowed to share.

Rebecca’s hope is that it is redistributed globally, so that others may learn from their experience.

 


 

JTILogoJOPLIN TORNADO INFO was created less than two hours after an EF-5 tornado hit Joplin on May 22, 2011. Originally created as a facebook page, the group quickly began utilizing other social networks and new technologies to aid in the relief effort. JTI and its affiliates are staffed entirely by volunteers and accept no donations. In the process of managing these sites, they agreed that the guidelines used with JTI needed to be written down and shared with others.
Lessons learned while creating and managing “Joplin Tornado Info” (2011) on Facebook and further implemented with “Branson Tornado Info” (2012)

Guidelines written by Rebecca and Genevieve Williams of Neosho, Mo., the founders of Joplin Tornado Info.

Publication edited and designed by David Burton, civic communication specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

This publication will be updated periodically. (3/7/12) Version 1.3 .

The Use of Social Media for Disaster Recovery

Lessons learned while creating and managing “Joplin Tornado Info” (2011) on Facebook and further implemented with “Branson Tornado Info” (2012)

INTRODUCTION

First and foremost, do not even attempt to set up a disaster recovery website unless you are fully prepared to devote yourself 24/7 to the effort.

Secondly, do not undertake this project unless you have reliable help. Social Media in a major disaster should not be taken on by a single individual. It is not a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday task because these sites do not manage themselves.
Collectively, the five person core team for Joplin Tornado Info was experienced in professional social media management, marketing, PR, crisis intervention, IT, journalism, copywriting, construction, logistics, nursing, and meteorology; no one person could have covered all of this effectively.

As soon as it was possible, administrators from utility companies, city officials, and other official groups were added. Social Media for disaster recovery required many hands, with one or two dedicated “supervisors” of the Facebook page.

Do not undertake a project of this scope unless you are certain you can follow through as long as it takes. Chances are, you will be signing on to do this for several months. It is impossible to know at the beginning of a disaster, the scope of the situation.
If you don’t have what you need to run a site, DON’T START ONE. JTI was created on an iPhone and largely run using an HP mini.

Do not ask your community for your supplies. If you need something you don’t have to function, tap a volunteer that has the needed equipment and move on. Avoid cluttering the disaster relief effort with your own needs.

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Click here for the entire white paper (Updated May 25, 2012)



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