By the time hurricane season starts this year, it will have been nearly a decade since the last hurricane has directly impacted Florida. Meanwhile, our population and real estate development has boomed, with over a million new residents that are inexperienced with preparing for and surviving tropical storms. With each successive major disaster around the world, we have witnessed the public’s widespread adoption of smartphones and of social media technologies to obtain information during emergencies and to share text, pictures, video of the disaster. This explosion in use of social media presents many challenges for emergency managers, who are wholly unprepared to monitor and respond to digital pleas for help and who are unable to effectively spread official disaster messages through social media platforms. When integrated with traditional channels, social media increases the situational awareness of emergency responders, which allows for better decision-making, planning and resource allocation.