Social Media and Disaster Assistance

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When cell phones channel alerts and social media change disaster management

Social media is surely perfect for disaster warnings because via Twitter and Co. you can reach huge numbers of people in almost one fell swoop. But as always there are not only positive aspects.

We spoke to Christoph Unger, President of the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, about new communications channels and the challenges surrounding reliable communication. He is glad that "specific information can be provided via smartphones, for example. It's an improvement on what we could achieve with sirens." But he highlights that "large quantities of information are spread, and sometimes, not just positive information."

Civil Protection must think ahead many scenarios. Especially at huge events. At the Olympic Games in Rio for example an app for passenger protection is in use. This app was programmed in Israel. We show in our text how this country, which is quasi a continuous crisis state, accomplished warning the population.

Read also how smartphones can help during earthquakes, get to know two important German warning apps: Nina and Katwarn and see a graph showing the pros and cons of social media during disasters.

Enjoy reading it!

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