How to Use Social Media During a Crisis

Lately, the world seems to be experiencing a constant turmoil with the natural disasters destroying entire countries to chaotic shootings occurring in the least likely of places. When trauma arises, desperate family members have turned to social media to seek help as well as to contact with loved ones who are in the midst of all the mayhem. Some may believe social media is an environment to boost one’s ego with favorites and likes, however, various social networking sites have posed as an aid to thousands of those in need of assistance, information, and comfort. When a crisis erupts, it is necessary to be prepared for the unthinkable, such as being separated from one’s family or finding oneself unable to contact emergency services. In order to properly prepare for a disaster, a family meeting should be arranged in order to discuss how to stay in contact in the event of a catastrophe.

Necessary Precautions Prior to A Disaster

  1. Be sure to have portable chargers, but most importantly, a hand cranked emergency light that contains a radio as well as a USB charger

  2. Obtain a smartphone if you do not already possess one

  3. Download Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps

  4. Add family member accounts on social media apps

  5. Add local, state, and federal agency accounts such as

    1. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

    2. Emergency Services (Police, Fire, EMT, etc)

    3. News Organizations (both Local and National)

    4. Main Accounts for government officials

  6. More Importantly, create a family plan for emergencies and learn how to navigate each social media app

Most catastrophes are unpreventable, however, through proper preparations and practice, a calamity can become less stressful. Remember to use social media to your advantage even if it is the last thing on your mind during a traumatic situation; social media could potentially save your life!