Social media: The new face of disaster response

When disaster hits, both the media and the public hit the Web.

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As we enter into hurricane and wildfire season, it’s a good time to take a look at how social media has shaped disaster response.

During times of crisis, those affected—nearly 1 million people are affected by disasters each year—are beginning to use social networks as a replacement for 911 call centers.

In fact, 20 percent of disaster survivors now contact emergency responders via social media. Of those who do, 35 percent reach out to responders on Facebook, and 25 percent on Twitter.

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