Disasters 2.0: The Application of Social Media Systems for Modern Emergency Management, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Disasters 2.0

The Application of Social Media Systems for Modern Emergency Management, 1st Edition

By Adam Crowe

CRC Press

321 pages | 89 B/W Illus.

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Emerging social media and so-called Web 2.0 technologies will continue to have a great impact on the practice and application of the emergency management function in every public safety sector. Disasters 2.0: The Application of Social Media Systems for Modern Emergency Management prepares emergency managers and first responders to successfully apply social media principles in the operations, logistics, planning, finance, and administrative aspects of any given disaster.

Using real-life examples of domestic and international disasters, the book reveals how social media has quickly become a powerful tool for both providing emergency instruction to the public in real time and allowing responding agencies to communicate among themselves in crisis. A definitive and comprehensive source, the book explores topics such as:

  • Social media basics
  • Citizen journalism
  • Strategic implementation
  • Safety and responsibility
  • Monitoring and analytics
  • Operational implementation
  • Geolocation systems
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Public notification
  • Mobile and other emerging technologies

Each chapter begins with a list of objectives and includes a collection of case examples of social media use in past events. Practitioner profiles show real people implementing the technology for real solutions. Demonstrating how to effectively apply social media technology to the next crisis, this is a must-read book for those charged with disaster management and response.

Table of Contents

Section I: Social Media, Organizational Engagement, and the Impact of Citizens

Introduction to the Application of Social Media in Modern Emergency Management

Modern Emergency Management

The Rise of Social Media

Social Media Users

Centralized versus Decentralized Organizational Structure

Systems Fade, Concepts Remain

Overview of Chapters

Practitioner Profile: Jeannette Sutton, PhD, Disaster Sociologist

Social Media Systems: Overview and Purpose

Foundations of Social Media

Social Networks



Photo Sharing

Video Sharing

Video Streaming

Skype and Video Calling

Other Systems

Practitioner Profile: Hal Grieb, Previstar

Citizen Journalism: The Rise and Impact of New Media

Journalism—Traditional and Participatory

Acceptance by the General Public

Acceptance by News Media

Available Tools of a Citizen Journalist

Challenges to Citizen Journalism

Practitioner Profile: Tom Erickson, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office

Mountains or Molehills: Engagement Challenges in the Application of Social Media

Hurdles and Hindrances

Programmatic Implementation

The Challenge of Privacy

Policy Implementation

Challenges to Implementation

Practitioner Profile: Jason Lindesmith, Federal Emergency

Management Agency Headquarters

The Yellow Tape Conundrum: Citizen and Responder Responsibility

A Change in Public Expectations

Rise of New Systems

Incident-Based Risk

First Responder Responsibility

Citizen Responsibility

Social Media "How" versus Social Media "Why"

Practitioner Profile: Alisha Griswold, Medical Reserve Corps, Kansas City

Section II: Social Media Policy, Procedure, Integration, and Analysis

Who’s the Sheriff in These Parts? Monitoring and Analysis of Social Media Information

Traditional Media Monitoring

Social Media Monitoring

Real-Time Instantaneous Monitoring

Real-Time Collective Monitoring

Basic Monitoring Analytics

Measuring Influence and Success

Practitioner Profile: Ethan M. Riley, Arizona Division of Emergency Management

White Hot or White Noise? Aggregation and Validation of Social Media Information

Impact of Demographics

Power of Aggregation

Theory of Social Validation

The Power of the Virtual Voice

RSS and Other Aggregation Tools

Integration with Traditional Systems

Practitioner Profile: Lee Arning, Southern Methodist University

When Status Quo Becomes Obsolete: Modern Integrated Emergency Warning and Notification Strategies

The Fallacy of Traditional Approaches

Mobility and Portability

Dynamic and Diverse Emergency Notification Strategies

Next Generation 9-1-1

Limitations to Modernization

Practitioner Profile: Walt Way, Johnson County Emergency Communications Center

Volunteer and Donations Management 2.0: How Social Media Has Revolutionized the Management and Recruitment of People and Supplies

Demographics of Volunteerism

Contemporary Volunteer Management

Voluntweeters and Other Crowdsourcing Opportunities

Donations Management 2.0

Measurements of Success

Practitioner Profile: Heather Blanchard, Co-Founder of Crisis Commons

The Elephant in the Emergency Operations Center: The Fundamental Flaw within Formal Response Systems

National Preparedness and Response Systems

Conflicts and Contradictions

Take the Filter Off

Contrasting Opinions

Challenges to Social Media and Exercise Management

Practitioner Profile: Gerald Baron, Public Relations and Crisis Communications Consultant

Section III: Social Media Tools and the Power of Virtual Community

It Takes a Village to Raise a Prepared Community: The Power and Purpose of Crowdsourcing

What Is Crowdsourcing?

How Crowdsourcing Works

Witnessing Disaster

Crowdsourcing by Virtual Volunteers

Organizational Implementation of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing by Impacted Citizens

Crowdsourcing Usage by Governmental Response

Practitioner Profile: Jim Garrow, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

The Beaten Browser: The Rise of Video, Voice, and Information on the Go

The Web Is Changing

The Rise of Mobile Engagement

Mobile Apps in Disaster Response

The Rise of User-Controlled Video Information

Information via Voice Systems

Information on the Go

Practitioner Profile: Lach Mullin, Benton County Emergency


Location, Location, Location: The Power of Geospatial Technologies and the Environment on Social Systems

Location-Based Social Networking

Potential Emergency Management Uses of Location-Based Social Networking

Impact of Geospatial Programming

Enhanced Information via Physical Interface

Practitioner Profile: Cheryl Bledsoe, Clark Regional Emergency Services

Get Your Head into the Cloud: Available Tools and Systems to Improve Emergency Management Functions

Open Government and Gamification

Functional and Accessibility Challenges

Hackers, Zombies, and Second Life: Potential Improvements to Operational Efficiency

Additional Web 2.0 and Social Media Tools

Collaborative and Contributory Systems

Practitioner Profile: Kim Stephens, Emergency Management Researcher, Practitioner, and Blogger

Appendix A: Disasters Referenced by Chapter

Appendix B: Answer Key


About the Author

Adam Crowe, CEM, MPA, Assistant Director, Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, Kansas, USA

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Internet / General
LAW / Forensic Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief