Social Media and its role in disaster management

With the tragedy that hit Nepal on Saturday and the rising death count, we at Social Samosa want to request all brand managers to stop opportunist marketing and use their resources for the better.

We are aware of your social reach and budgets and humbly request you to take a stand against levering this tragedy (not ‘opportunity’) to create awareness about how India can help make a difference to the victims of Nepal.

We came across a post which said that phone access is limited in Nepal, however data is available at some regions. Hence, apps like Facebook, Viber, Twitter and Whatsapp are being used extensively for help.

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Sushma Swaraj has been effectively using Twitter to respond to users in the time of crisis. A woman in the affected area tweeted to her and was responded promptly. Twitter users in Nepal can reach out to her for help using data.

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She has also tweeted with helpline numbers and twitter handles, the users can reach out to for help.

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A journalist from New York times posted this on Facebook that came across as an inspiring story.

The power of social media: Amol Bali, who I don’t know personally, reached out to me after seeing this photo The New…

Posted by Shreeya Sinha on Saturday, 25 April 2015

Airlines are doing a great job too by flying in and evacuating people from Nepal.

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Facebook timeline shows an easy way to donate. It went a step ahead and said, “Facebook will match your donation up to USD 2 million to contribute to local relief organisations. 100% of your donation will go toInternational Medical Corps and their work in response to the Nepal earthquake.”

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The donate button leads to the payment gateway.

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Twitter has also done its bit by supporting donations and increasing the reach of such posts.

Twitter-Quake

 

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The role of social media in disaster management has been huge in the past; social media has played a pivotal role in the Jammu & Kashmir floods.

Each disaster finds its way on social media for information exchange which comes at a lightening speed. Disaster responses can be highly efficient from government authorities and embassies to exchange quick bits of information. However, the rate at which tweets and posts come in, these bodies should use technology to their advantage by tracking accurate hashtags and keywords. Infact, the Jammu & Kashmir and Nepal calamities indicate that the government should think of preventive measures and invest in a command center that is ready to take on any disaster listening and responding.

It would also be useful for government bodies to educate people on how social media can be used for receiving, sharing and generating information during such mishaps.

The Nepal tragedy has made it clear that Social Media now plays an integral role in disaster response, filling the void where cell services are lost. India has turned to Facebook, Twitter and Google to stay informed, contact loved ones, notify authorities and express support.

In view of this, we have put together a Twitter panel of experts that will demonstrate how people can use social media to find, contact and help the victims of Nepal. This panel includes experts, ranging from industry experts, listening tools and platforms; who will help answer questions that anybody might have about how to use Social Media in Disaster response and management and effectively locate loved ones.

Join the panel between 4pm – 5pm on 29th April, 2015 with #SocialMediaReliefPanel. 

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