The use of social media by UK local resilience forums

D. J. Meaton, L. A. Stringer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The power of the public to capture and share real-time information has been utilised effectively in disaster situations, most notably Haiti, and social media has been important for developing new 'communities of interest', exemplified by its role during the Arab Spring. The potential methods of harnessing social media in the field of emergency planning, resilience and response (EPRR) are varied and interesting, and range from its use as a means of sending out public information to new ways of generating and using real-time data. Although the UK government have produced various guidance documents for the use of social media, the professional use of such technology in the UKEPRR field is poorly documented and appears sporadic. This paper presents the results of a survey of Local Resilience Forums in the UK on their use and engagement with social media. The findings suggest that the level of application of social media strategies as emergency planning or response tools varied significantly between the LRFs. While over 90% of respondents claimed that their LRF used social media as part of their strategy, most of this use was reactive or passive, rather than proactive and systematic. The various strategies employed seem to be linked most strongly to local expertise and the existence of social media 'champions' rather than to the directives and guidance emerging from government. The paper concludes by making policy recommendations concerning requirements for mandatory social media training within the emergency planning professions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDisaster Management and Human Health Risk III
Subtitle of host publicationReducing Risk, Improving Outcomes
EditorsC. A. Brebbia
PublisherWIT Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781845647391
ISBN (Print)9781845647384
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event3rd International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes - A Coruna, Spain
Duration: 9 Jul 201311 Jul 2013
Conference number: 3

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on the Built Environment
PublisherWIT Press
ISSN (Print)1746-4498
ISSN (Electronic)1743-3509


Conference3rd International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes
Abbreviated titleDMAN 2013
CityA Coruna


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