Twittering about Emergency Preparedness

While the debate continues about the appropriate use of social media during an actual crisis, it seems that social media tools, such as Twitter, are generally proving to be important tools for disaster preparedness and awareness.

I’ve been on Twitter (@CRCSaunders) for a few months now, and I can already see the benefits. The audience that I engage with there are the group hardest to get with the preparedness message.  Upward mobile, professionals between ages 30 – 45 are busy with their career, dating, family, mortgages, etc.   Getting this group to think about ‘bad stuff’ that might happen while they are struggling with the current is a challenge.

Twitter’s not a great place to spout off 140-character tips on emergency preparedness, but it is a great place to network and talk with people. Twitter is really about #ICE – Interact, Communicate and Engage. When those who follow your tweets get to know who you are, beyond your avatar, they are more likely to listen when you do provide timely suggestions.

If you get enough of the right kind of followers, then your preparedness message will get out there more than any fridge magnet could.

If you’re on Twitter, check out the hashtag #EPW for updates on Emergency Preparedness Week

Here are some great links to stories with more information about social media and emergency preparedness:

Prepare for disasters using social media (From Mashable)

Social Media During Disaster Response (From

You’ll find other Canadian Red Cross twits at:

@RedCrossTalk, @RedCrossCanada, @jmayville, @FirstAid_ON, @Alisonfrehlich, @ChiranLiveraCRC, @CroixRouge, @Katiekallio

I’m sorry if I’ve missed anyone! If you’re on Twitter, let us know what your name is so we can connect.

2 Responses

  1. […] John Saunders, “Disaster Dude/Director of Disaster Management, Ontario,” has a post, Twittering About Emergency Preparedness. Saunders says that Twitter has helped the organization reach an audience — “Upward […]

  2. […] few months,” Ontario Disaster Management Director of the Canadian Red Cross, in his post, “Twittering about Emergency Preparedness,” offered: “I can already see the benefits. The audience that I engage with there are the group […]

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