This morning, Dr Tina McGuinness (Management Studies) and I ran an event for local schools entitled Could social media help you during a disaster?, as part of the 2017 ESRC Festival of Social Science. The description of the event was:
Can social media help build disaster resilience in Sheffield? What role, if any, should social media users, and young people in particular, play in efforts to mitigate the effects of these incidents in their communities and help keep themselves and others safe? Recent research has suggested that social media can help emergency services during human made and natural disasters through the ‘push and pull’ of crisis information. The eyewitness perspectives shared by citizens on social media can help first responders build situational awareness and identify those areas most in need of assistance. At the same time, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can provide emotional and material support to those affected by such incidents. For instance, during the floods in the South-West of England (December 2013-February 2014), citizen-led social media campaigns such as #forageaid helped provide support for affected communities. The latter would also lead a campaign calling on the UK government to dredge local rivers in order to avoid a repeat of these flood events. Twitter hashtags such as #roomformanchester and #wearenotafraid would also be used to provide shelter and express support for those affected by the most recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.
Our guest speakers were:
Dr Tina McGuinness, University of Sheffield
Alex Mills, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Heather Cottrill & Derek Bell, UK Environment Agency
Thanks to Alexandra Ricketts and Rebecca Stevenson for assisting with the event and to the students for their participation at what was a very enjoyable event!
Some pictures from the event are below, for further information please see my Storify .
Dr Tina McGuinness presenting her research on social media and flood events
Alex Mills presenting an overview of how SYFR use social media
Heather Cottrill discusses how the UK Environment Agency has used social media in South Yorkshire