Friday, October 1, 2010

In Times of Crisis-- A Social Network Review

Okay, one last fire post.  Then I'm done.  I promise. :)

(I think we are finally smoke free.... maybe.... except the A/C in our minivan.)

When there's a crisis and you need information, where do you turn?

On Sunday, Sept. 19th, I started with, a local news outlet.  We had seen a large plume of smoke after church and since it looked quite close, we wanted to know what was up.

After checking KSL, FOX, and other news sites, we finally got some information.  We now sort of knew what was going on.

By nightfall, the fire was getting close and we were trying to decide if we needed to evacuate.  Again, we checked news sites and thought this time to check Facebook.

Eventually we decided we were leaving whether it was mandatory or not.  (Seeing flames from your porch will do that, especially when you have small children, one of whom has asthma.  Go figure.)

Throughout the night, I followed whatever updates I could find and you know what-- Facebook and Twitter won hands down.

Granted, both sites can (and do) spread panic and false information, but Twitter didn't just have a hashtag for the fire, it had posts from the city and the city preparedness committee.  As did Facebook.  Those were THE BEST sources of information, both throughout the night (I was up until 4 and up again at 6... gotta love adrenaline) and in the days to follow when the emphasis shifted to cleanup.

Does your city have a Facebook and/or Twitter account??  FIND OUT!!  We were able to follow containment, evacuation, damage and cleanup information simply by checking those sites.  (Plus HUGE kudos to the local FOX reporters who were on Twitter pretty much all night making updates from the fire command center!!!  Very helpful!)

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