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A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations
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A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Media's Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations


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As emergency management agencies and organizations implement social media and web technology to support crisis information and communication efforts, many question if present strategies are …

As emergency management agencies and organizations implement social media and web technology to support crisis information and communication efforts, many question if present strategies are beneficial. This is especially true if social media is being implemented for the first time or has not been experienced in a live disaster. Studies have been conducted providing information on a variety of interactions between Social Media and Emergency Management (SMEM). However, few have taken a formal scientific approach as a means of measurement providing a 'Comprehensive Performance Metric.' Performance metrics need to have consistency while providing room for implementing unique measurement criteria for individualized efforts. We offer a research design using field studies of real world cases, evaluating rural and metropolitan areas. The result produces a set of 'Best Practices' through implementation. By offering a means of measuring success, SMEM can continue to evolve by using a methodologically sound approach using social media.

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  1. Social Media Implementation into Emergency Operations A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Social Medias Successful Implementation into Emergency Management Operations: Applied Research in an Action Research Study Robby Westbrook Tammy Karlgaard Connie White Knapic, Josalyn" Director Homeland Security and Senior Emergency Information Technology Solutions Crisis Communication Emergency Management, Management Consultant, For Emergency Management Research Project, Cherokee, GA USA Science Applications (ITSFEM) Columbia College Chicago International Corporation (SAIC) “Do not panic. Do not panic! We are trained professionals!” AntzABSTRACTAs emergency management agencies and organizations implement social media and web technology to supportcrisis information and communication efforts, many question if present strategies are beneficial. This is especiallytrue if social media is being implemented for the first time or has not been experienced in a live disaster. Studieshave been conducted providing information on a variety of interactions between Social Media and EmergencyManagement (SMEM). However, few have taken a formal scientific approach as a means of measurement providinga Comprehensive Performance Metric. Performance metrics need to have consistency while providing room forimplementing unique measurement criteria for individualized efforts. We offer a research design using field studiesof real world cases, evaluating rural and metropolitan areas. The result produces a set of Best Practices throughimplementation. By offering a means of measuring success, SMEM can continue to evolve by using amethodologically sound approach using social media.KEYWORDSSocial, media, emergency, management, measuring, cases, action, research, web, 2.0I. INTRODUCTIONEmergency Management (EM) is defined as “the application of science, technology, planning, and management todeal with extreme events” (Drabek, 1991). Disasters and/or catastrophes can impact entire communities for decadesand tend to either unify or devastate a community. The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina in 2005,Haiti Earthquake of 2010, Iceland volcano 2010 (Eyjafjallajökull) and The Great Japan Eastern Earthquake of 2011are all recent examples of communities that were impacted by a catastrophic event. To this day, residents innumerous areas as such, continue to deal with the aftermath. It is for this purpose that each person within thecommunity is considered an EM stakeholder. This helps us to understand that EM is not simply an agency,department or division, but rather, a field that involves the entire community.Due to the breadth and depth of stakeholders for each emergency manager, decision-making becomes a complextask. Each decision or non-decision has the potential to impact the entire community. (Lindell, Prater, Perry, 2007;White and Turoff, 2010). The key to making good decisions as a disaster unfolds is the ability to have a holisticview of the response efforts across the community. If an assessment of the situation occurs during the responsephase, it is usually focused on intelligence or understanding the behavior of the hazard that is impacting thecommunity and the people/property at risk (Lindell et al., 2007). An emergency manager constantly struggles withreal time incident assessment, particularly if the event is extensive and requires a multi-disciplinary response. The 1
  2. Social Media Implementation into Emergency Operationsgoal of a real time situational information assessment is to create a Common Operational Picture (COP) across theentire area of impact. A COP is defined as “a single identical display of relevant information shared by more thanone command to facilitate collaborative planning and to achieve situational awareness” (Misbah, 2009).Social media was never intended to be used for emergency management (White, Plotnick, Kushma, Turoff andHiltz, 2009; Fugate, 2011). However, numerous studies support the notion that social media is an invaluable part ofemergency response communication and information sharing efforts (Palen, Hiltz and Liu, 2007; White et al., 2009;Starbird and Stamberger, 2010; Red Cross, 2010; Crowley and Chan, 2011; Fairfax County Web Metrics Report,2011; Red Cross, 2011; White, 2011). These studies also confirm that the citizens use social media and have anexpectation that EM officials monitor their respective social media sites for emergency information (Red Cross,2010; 2011). However, at present, most emergency management agencies and officials do not have a formal socialmedia strategy in place to accommodate the needs of its population. Social Media has the characteristics offlexibility, scalability, interoperability, and provides a common operating picture, which creates a robust system forproviding information to citizens. This type of two-way information and communication system also allows citizensto be utilized as a resource during all phases of emergency management thus meeting the demands of governmentdirectives using the community. This demonstrates the potential usefulness of SMEM in linking together bothofficial and non-official crisis response channels.The community, volunteer organizations, and news organizations are currently embracing social media, but EM isslow to adopt and implement it on a full scale. One can understand this hesitation, given the lack of guidance andquality assurance. As EM officials and agencies begin to implement social media, several questions need to beanswered such as:  How do you know a social media strategy is working?  What is considered social media success?  Does it work better than past methods of communication and information sharing?We believe by conducting formal research on the implementation of a holistic SMEM framework that these andmany other questions can be answered. We also contend that the research should be carried out as field studies(Applied Research) and conducted under the direction of Action Research. This methodology implements socialmedia on a large scale by using real world cases that represent diverse sizes of communities. Using diversecommunity sizes produces more realistic results. Under the guidelines of Action Research, we propose thatqualitative and quantitative research (triangulation) be conducted in an orderly and discrete manner where actualdata from interactions will produce information that can be used in the real world.Robust research on social media practices, systems/platforms, and user interaction is critical due to the evolvingnature of social media. Few formal research designs have been created, implemented, analyzed and fully integratedinto an ongoing real-time population. This research will create a series of metrics and best practices for EMs whenimplementing social media in crisis communication and disaster situations. In a disaster situation, decision makersbase decisions on incoming information from trusted sources. The first step in decision-making is to understand ifyou have an accurate picture of the disaster situation. We describe a research agenda that will create metrics forleveraging social media during a disaster situation as well as provide the best practices for both emergency managersand the end user (the public) during day-to-day operations.The remainder of this paper includes a broad review of existing studies. Specific features from each study areidentified. Next, Action Research is argued as the suitable methodology to support the overarching applied fieldstudies. In order to better understand the dynamics between environments, two case studies are presented thatprovide information on considerations that should be taken into account given the demographics and characteristicsof a community and its stakeholders. An Action Research plan is described.II. BACKGROUNDA robust literature review is the starting point for this research. Understanding the work that has already beenconducted on social media and emergency management is a key first step to correctly identifying current and futureresearch efforts. The results of the literature review drives the study design metrics and areas of concentration. Someexamples of the types of studies that will be utilized include: 2
  3. Social Media Implementation into Emergency Operations 1. An Action Research Study using Web Technology for Knowledge Management during Disasters (Raman et al., 2010). 2. Survey Research by the Red Cross in 2010, 2011. 3. Web Metrics used by Fairfax County during the use of Hurricane Irene, 2011. 4. Action Research Crisis Informatics studies by EPIC in the Tweak the Tweet Project and Voluntweeters (Starbird and Palen, 2011).Study 1: Action Research Study: Wiki Technology for Knowledge Management During a Crisis EventWeb based collaborative efforts using Web 2.0 technologies have used Action Research. A Wiki based medium wasused in emergency response efforts during a campus-wide earthquake drill. Issues surrounding ‘knowledgemanagement’ for emergency response efforts were the main focus. Since the stakeholders desired permanentchange and intended on integrating the new concepts/design into day to day on goings, Action Research was the bestsolution. (Raman et al., 2010)."The objective of the study was to design, implement and evaluate a system that could change the overallpreparedness, communication, and knowledge management processes for emergency response within the CUC."(Raman et al., 2010, p. 53)Research should test if the web-based solutions could help the group overcome present challenges. The over-arching approach was Action Research, using participatory research to build the system. A 5-step action researchprocess guides these efforts. ● Step 1: Problem Formulation ● Step 2: Action Planning ● Step 3: Intervention (data collection) ● Step 4: Evaluation ● Step 5: Specification of Learning OutcomesThis approach was necessary for the environment and the study. These needs mirror our own, thus making this agood approach upon which to support research agenda.Study 2: The American Red Cross SurveyThe American Red Cross conducted a survey during the summer of 2011. Over 2000 people participated in thesurvey, approximately half by phone and half online. The general population was asked questions that wereanalyzed according to: ● Online community user population ● Social Media saturation ● Frequency of Social Media use ● Emergency Information Sources ● Desirability of Safety Information Communication Application ● Where the public disseminates crisis information ● Expectations of emergency organizations to respond to information posted online ● Time frames of expectations concerning official response efforts ● Alternative channels seeking help ● Disseminate personal safety indication information ● Local, State and Federal Level monitoring expectations of public 3
  4. Social Media Implementation into Emergency OperationsStudy 3: Web Metrics Report by Fairfax County Virginia During Hurricane IreneDuring the summer of 2011, a very large and potentially devastating hurricane crawled up the eastern coast of theUnited States. One EM group used Social Media for crisis communications and provided an analysis of the results.The EM group used a disaster information blog, a Facebook account, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. They conducteda comparison of the frequency of visits people made to the traditional web sites versus the social media sites. ● Blog - The number of views, public comments and county posts. This was also compared with the county web pages that were viewed during the same time. ● Facebook - The number of Post views, number of new Fans, number of times Shared, number of Likes, the number of Comments and the number of County Posts. The number of Fans and Comments were compared with the past trends. ● Twitter - The number of Retweets, the number of New Follows and the number of County updates. ● Community Emergency Alert Systems - number of New Subscribers ● County Website - The number of clicks to hurricane information from the site, increase in the number of Views selecting emergency web pages ● Flickr - The number of views. ● YouTube - The number of views. ● Online Discussion/Chat with EM Coordinator - The number of questions submitted by public. This was compared with all other Online Discussion sessions. ● Mobile Apps - The number of times downloaded. This was compared with past trends.The report states, “This metrics report provides a snapshot of how our information was published and shared duringthe preparation, response and recovery time frame of Aug. 25-29, 2011. The stats paint a picture that confirms thechanging way government communicators must think about, distribute and encourage sharing of information intoday’s world.”Study 4: Voluntweeters and Tweak the Tweet (TtT)In this study, the group used content analysis on information sent through Twitter by users. Twitter is a veryimportant part of crisis management as its proven use over the past years.They analyzed Tweets for: ● Original Tweets ● ReTweets sent in a TtT syntax. This was analyzed given a design they constructed and implemented ● Translations of Tweets into a TtT format ● Non-TtT Tweets. These Tweets had a keyword in them although they weren’t officially TtT formats. ● They maintained frequency counts of all of the coding for TtT tweets.Interviewing some of the people who tweeted during the event collected further data. They explored the motivationsof volunteers.As demonstrated, a host of approaches exists. However, we feel a holistic approach at research may contributedeeper insight into the complexities challenging EMs implementing social media to meet agency objectives. Realworld cases need to be used to guide studies on measuring social media implementation. By using field studies,meaningful results can further guide research efforts and findings.III. METHODOLOGYThe overall study will include qualitative and quantitative research methods and will be conducted in an orderly anddiscrete manner. This research effort explores how using social media, in addition to traditional methods of responseefforts, will provide a greater awareness to those in need of information (i.e. the survivors) as well as to thosedecision makers in an emergency operations center. Past studies with similar goals and objectives have supportedthis methodology as being appropriate for the area of interest. Furthermore, our study will employ a five-step 4
  5. Social Media Implementation into Emergency Operationsapproach to include problem formulation, action planning, data collection and evaluation. The details of each stepinclude:Step 1: Problem FormulationInformation is typically received from the jurisdiction’s E-911 center, news media and from first responders duringthe initial response efforts. But what happens if the disaster is so severe that first responders cannot get to the scene?For example, during the catastrophic tornado outbreak of 27 April 2011 in Georgia, many emergency managersfound that the victims themselves became the first responders. One example occurred in Catoosa County, Georgiawhere a violent tornado completely leveled the Cherokee Valley area killing 8 people and injuring several morevictims. Fifty-five survivors were interviewed and they noted that it took almost 3 hours for first responders to arriveon the scene. The survivors performed basic search and rescue operations to look for other victims and provided firstaid until first responders could cut their way into the area.What if these survivors had an established communication method to send real-time messages to emergencymanagers and first responders? After the tornado, the survivors did send messages, but they went to relatives viasocial media because there was not an established method of communication with emergency managers. This casedemonstrates the guiding effort of our approach.Step 2: Action PlanningMost emergency managers wear multiple hats and emergency management is just one of them (Clarke, 2006). Thisis problematic because it leaves the emergency manager less time to developing robust communication methodswithin the community. This is especially true in rural and small communities when the emergency manager is oftena first responder as well. Can small emergency management programs assimilate all of the available information anddigest it when disaster strikes? Information is most likely coming into the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)from multiple sources at the same time. Can all of this existing information be coupled with social media feeds toallow for rapid situational awareness?We present metrics upon which agencies can use as a guide to evaluate the success of a social media solution set.These guidelines will outline the steps necessary for evaluation. However, we suggest different guidelines for ruralareas versus metropolitan areas, as each is unique and will require a different way in which social media sites areleveraged within the community.We plan to implement a new research design that: ● Illustrates the additional preparedness for emergency management that will occur by implementing a social media strategy into their comprehensive preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery efforts. ● Determines if the use of social media decreases response times for first responders. ● Determines if the use of social media increases the accuracy of information flow between victim and decision maker. ● Illustrates if the research participants feel more informed due to the use of social media methods/strategy. ● Analyzes the actual use of the social media sites vs. the intended use of the sites.This effort could be further utilized to aid other efforts such as exploring the effects of new media and response inVulnerable Populations including the elderly, handicapped and those with functional needs. It could also be thebasis to study the new role of the digital volunteer, which is the effort of standardizing and authenticatingindividuals to deploy online during emergencies.The current research design includes using selective parts of the aforementioned studies methods of measurementcovered in the Background section of this paper. Each is unique and measures social media and emergencymanagement in some capacity. However, we intend to conduct a formal study providing further insight into theWeb 2.0 environment. We begin by utilizing an overall approach implemented by Raman, et al. in order toimplement a scientific approach. 5
  6. Social Media Implementation into Emergency OperationsAction Research (AR) is the closest of all social scientific approaches to enacting the scientific method. AR involvesproblem formulation, operationalization, hypothesis formulation, data gathering, data analysis, action design, action,evaluation of the action and redesign of the hypotheses, interpretations, and actions in an ongoing cycle (Raman etal., 2010). Raman’s work followed the guidelines set forth in AR. His stakeholders were trained to first use thesystem and then conduct a scenario to test the system and gather data for analysis. The team members providedfeedback and suggestions were implemented by the group to better support the needs identified during Step 1. Thissame basic overall approach will be used in our own research efforts. However, there will be feedback loops atevery step to support new problem discovery.Step 3: Intervention (Data Collection)First in Step 3, we need to answer the question, “how do we determine who needs to know what?” We will thencombine and evaluate information from multiple sources to develop a clear process for gaining a clear and accurateoperational picture across all EM frameworks. One overreaching structure in place in the United States specific toorganizing disaster responsibilities in local emergency operations plans is defined within the National ResponseFramework (NRF). The NRF utilizes Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). ESFs serve as the primary operational-level mechanism to provide assistance in functional areas. Moreover, representation from each ESF agency puts keydecision makers together within the Emergency Operations Center. Table 1 provides an example of how EmergencySupport Functions are used to not only organize the local emergency management program, but to clearly identifypartner organizations, and key stakeholders. Emergency Support Function Primary & Support Organizations EFS-1: Transportation School District, Metro Transit, Rural Transit Church Groups ESF-2: Communications & Warning Emergency Management,E-911 Center, Media, Amateur Radio ESF-3: Public Works County Public Works Departments, City Public Works Departments, Private Contractors ESF-4: Firefighting City/County Fire Departments ESF-5: Emergency Management EM Office, CERT, VOAD ESF-6: Mass Care Red Cross, Public Health, Salvation Army, Faith- Based Groups, Community Volunteer Organizations ESF-7: Resource Support EM Office ESF-8: Public Health Local Public Health, District Public Health ESF-9: Search & Rescue City/County Fire Departments ESF-10: Hazardous Materials City/County Fire Departments ESF-11: Agriculture/Food Safety Environmental Health, Ag Industry, Extension Service, Animal Control ESF-12: Energy Utility Companies, Fuel Providers ESF-13: Law Enforcement Safety & Security Sheriff’s Office, City County Police Departments ESF-14: Long-Term Recovery EM Office, VOADs ESF-15: External Affairs Joint Information Team Table 1. Local Emergency Management Program OrganizationTable 1 is not intended to determine tasks or information needs for each area of responsibility, but to simplyillustrate the wide range and number of organizations required for a successful emergency management program.On the surface it is clear that many of the functional areas would need to know the same general informationconcerning the threat and expected or actual impacts. What must be determined through additional research is whatsubset of information is needed for each specific function to successfully meet the incident/disaster objectives. 6
  7. Social Media Implementation into Emergency OperationsThe efforts of Raman et al. were based on Wiki technology; however we are exploring multiple platforms and willneed the flexibility to use new technologies and applications. We propose stakeholders collaboratively define a setof objectives and means for measuring the success or failure of these objectives. In particular, weaknesses andvulnerabilities in the different platforms should be identified and addressed. In addition, both stakeholders from theemergency operations center and the community stakeholders will explore deficiencies by identifying possibilitieswhere social media may provide a solution. Appropriate measures will be identified and used so that results aresound.In many emergency operations centers, the emergency manager acts as the conduit between external informationbeing received and who needs the information within the overall organization. Some emergency operations centersinput all data into an existing disaster management software application such as E-Team or WebEOC whereeveryone can view data.Many emergency managers operate with a minimum amount of personnel to accomplish the emergencymanagement function. Figure 1 depicts the sources of information already being monitored by the emergencyoperations center. If raw data obtained via Social Media is added to this information stream, would it becomeoverwhelming? Figure 1. Information Sources for Emergency Operations CentersIn urban areas, the social media information management function could easily be blended into the overallinformation management system within the emergency operations center. If the emergency operations center isorganized using ESFs following the principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), theintelligence unit within the Emergency Operations Center Planning Section could filter social media information.The development and implementation of a social media specialist within the intelligence unit would allow for therapid interpretation of information that can then be provided to the overall emergency operations center managementand specific ESFs.In a more rural area, the emergency manager typically wears multiple hats. This could include the emergencymanager also being the fire chief, police chief or city/county manager. The function of managing social media willbe much lower on the priority list of a rural emergency manager even though the information may be very helpful. 7
  8. Social Media Implementation into Emergency OperationsWith this being said, there are methods of introducing the use of social media to rural areas that can provide apositive enhancement to the existing communication efforts.Step 4: EvaluationEvery country in the world uses their own set of social media tools, platforms, and technologies. Although we mayuse Twitter in the USA and the Japanese use Twittereach one is unique. This is because the second languageoffered in Twitter was Japanese. However, the Japanese dont use Facebookthey use a similar site called Mixi( Further, all countries have preferred social media sites that are unique to their local language. Forexample, Skyrock is used in France, Tuenti in Spain, wer-kennt-wen in Germany, Virgilio in Italy, bharatstudent inIndia, QQ in China, FC2 in Japan and the list goes on and on. Therefore, each country also has their own set ofcategories of social sites as is demonstrated in Figure 2, China has a host of similar yet unique SM sites. Figure 2. China Social Media Sites Compared to the Global PlayersHence, the focus on the study should be on what is used vs. any specific social media site. We plan to evaluateTwitter for its microblogging functionality but other microblogging SM sites should be considered. This workapplies to functions - functions that satisfy the needs to fulfill some task. We can map those functions and needsover to any other social media platform, further evaluating the platforms used by the locals to see how thesetechniques can be used in any environment - not just the USA - FB, Twitter, YouTube world. Also, this allows theresearch team to remain flexible in the approach in order to include the ever-changing social media world. Socialmedia is a dynamic environment that changes daily, what is used today may not be used tomorrow and most socialmedia tools do not have a long life. For example, MySpace ( used to be popular and at the time ofthis writing, Tumblr is the fastest growing social network in the USA. This work can beapplied locally but from our local studies will be abstracted a set of something providing guidance regardless of thecountry. It will be based on what is used, and local to the population. The rationale for using a variety of platforms,tools, and technologies is that every country in the world uses their own set of social media tools, platforms, andtechnologies. 8
  9. Social Media Implementation into Emergency OperationsAfter the research team has had time to collect and analyze the data, an implementation strategy will be developed toroll out the best practices and metrics for the community. Additional follow up work and research will be conductedbased upon the specific needs of the community.Step 5: Specification of Learning OutcomesThe outcomes of a formalized research strategy may include:1. Documented social media use and community engagement in diverse (rural and urban) environments2. Trend analysis of social media tools, platforms, and technologies across the globe3. Application of quantitative and qualitative research methods to a social media setting4. Lessons learned on social media usage, strategy, and programs as they relate to EM5. Documented social media analysis methods in EM6. Metrics for analyzing social media in EM that can be utilized by the EM community as a standard7. Assisting local EM in implementing a social media strategy within their communityAdditional outcomes may be produced during the research and will be documented for further research efforts. Thepurpose of using formalized research is to provide the research community a level of standardization so that theresearch results can be duplicated in other work. The outcomes in this study will provide future researchers with abaseline from which to craft additional work in social media.IV. DISCUSSIONBoth sending and receiving accurate information is critical in established communication channels between theemergency manager and the entire community of stakeholders. Since September 11, 2001 many programs have beeninitiated across the United States to prepare citizens for "All-Hazards." Many of these programs have included theuse of social media by federal, state, and local emergency management programs. While social media has become avery useful tool for communicating preparedness information, the use of this tool remains largely untested duringthe response phase of disasters or large local emergencies.A formal approach measuring the changes in an environment that a permanent effect is desired is best implementedusing an Action Research approach. “AR is a set of self-consciously collaborative and Democratic strategies forgenerating knowledge and designing action in which trained experts in social and other forms of research and localstakeholders work together. The research focus is chosen collaboratively amount the local stakeholders and theaction researchers and the relationships among the participants are organized as joint learning processes”(Greenwood and Levin, 2007). The full potential of continually utilizing social media can only be realized withongoing formal studies and field studies evaluating over time series efforts. Social media is continuously changing.Constant updates to the technologies along with user preferences force us to remain current in our usage and studyapproach.Social media must be tested in a real-time environment in order to evaluate its ability to assist emergency managersin developing a common operating picture across the entire area of responsibility. Citizens do become the firstresponders during disasters and it is important for emergency managers to know what they are seeing. At the sametime, emergency managers have many responsibilities and lots of information to sort through in order to understandwhat is going on in their community. Including social media, research as to how all of the available communicationssources can be consolidated into a system that is manageable is needed.V. CONCLUSIONThe communications and information-sharing paradigm has shifted drastically since the days of Hurricane Katrinain 2005. Emerging technologies have provided individuals with a means to share information. These newtechnologies have also provided individual stakeholders within a community a voice that can be heard around theworld. Social media and web technology have taken the lead in shifting the traditional communication andinformation-sharing paradigm, making the traditional barriers of official information distribution obsolete. This shiftincludes a complete reversal of information sharing techniques from the official (government) to the public. Now,the public can share information and disseminate critical news to the world and each other without going through 9
  10. Social Media Implementation into Emergency Operationsgovernment communication methods. This is revolutionizing the way in which people ask for help and the wayresponders and other EM officials receive information. The very structure of communication and informationsharing dynamics is changing for both for EMs and the public. As stated by FEMA Director Craig Fugate, one of thesocial elements that is changing in the field of EM is viewing "the public as a resource and not a liability" (Fugate,2011). This new paradigm has EMs and other officials pondering how to implement social media, when toimplement social media, and how to use it effectively before an event.REFERENCES1. Clarke, W. (2006) Emergency Management in County Government: A National Survey, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia.2. Crowley, J., and Chan, J. (2011) Disaster Relief 2.0 Report: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, Washington, D.C. and Berkshire, UK.3. Drabek, T.E. (1991) Introduction to Emergency Management: Principles & Practice for Local Government, International City Management Association, Washington, D.C.4. Federal Emergency Management Agency (2008) National Incident Management System. www.fema.gov5. Federal Emergency Management Agency (2008) National Response Framework. www.fema.gov6. Fugate, C. (2011) Senate Homeland Security Hearing on Social Media as Disaster Communications Tool, CSPAN.7. Greenwood, D. and Levin, M. (2007) Introduction to Action Research: Social Research for Social Change, SAGE Publications, 2nd Ed.8. Lindell, M. K., Prater, C., & Perry, R. W. (2007) Introduction to Emergency Management, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.9. Misbah, M. (2009) A Geo-Centric Common Operational Picture: New Era in GIS Enterprises, ESRI NeA Solutions, 8 Gazaer St., New Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.10. Office of Public Affairs (2011) Fairfax County Web Metric Reports, Fairfax Virginia. Palen, L., Hiltz, S.R., and Liu, S. (2007) Citizen Participation in Emergency Preparedness and Response, Communications of the ACM special issue, 50, 3, 54-58.12. Raman, M., Ryan, T., Jennex, M. and Oldman, L. (2010) Wiki Technology and Emergency Response: An Action Research Study, IJISCRAM, Vol. 2, No. 1, IGI Publishing.13. Starbird, K., and Stamberger, J. (2010) Tweak the Tweet: Leveraging Microblogging Proliferation with a Prescriptive Grammar to Support Citizen Reporting, (Seattle, Washington, USA, May 2010), ISCRAM 2010.14. Starbird, K., and Palen L. (2011) “Voluntweeters:" Self-Organizing by Digital Volunteers in Times of Crisis, ACM 2011 (CHI 2011), Vancouver, BC, Canada, long paper, pp. TBA.15. The American Red Cross (2010, 2011) Social Media In Disasters and Emergencies, Online Survey Web2Asia (2008) Chinese Online Social Networks, Retrieved January 7, 2012, White, C. (2011) Social Media, Crisis Communication and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technology, Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 2012.18. White, C., Plotnick, L., Kushma, J., Hiltz, S. R. and Turoff, M. (2009) An Online Social Network for Emergency Management. International Journal of Emergency Management 2009 - Vol. 6, No.3/4 pp. 369 - 382.19. White, C. and Turoff (2010) Factors That Influence Crisis Managers and their Decision-Making Ability during Extreme Events, International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, Vol. 2, 3, pp. 25-35. 10