Working together for a resilient Birmingham.

Group meet to discuss use of social media in emergencies

Representatives from emergency services, local businesses and community groups met together during June to discuss the use of social media during emergencies.

The project was generated from an Engineering and Physical Science Research Council Next Generation Resilience Research funding event.  The focus group was hosted by Birmingham Resilience Team and led by researchers from universities around the UK.

Mariola Smallman (left) from Birmingham Resilience Team with the research group.

The group were asked to consider various scenarios and questions relating to how social media is used during emergencies.  Questions were asked about how emergency services and organisations would use social media to communicate information about emergencies and whether information from social media sources is used to influence the response to emergencies.

Glen Curry, Emergency Planning Officer from Birmingham City Council said, “It was great to hear a range of views on the use of social media and it was encouraging to hear how progressive all organisations in Birmingham are with using social media as a key communication strategy.  There was a clear outcome from the group that social media is a vital tool when dealing with emergencies, but without neglecting more traditional communication methods.”

The researchers will use the views gathered by the group and this will then inform their research.  Outcomes from the research will be published and it is hoped the group will meet again to discuss the final product and further improve communication with the public.

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