Many Americans consider the Internet their preferred information source and the most reliable source for news. During disasters, online activity increases, and the public frequently turns to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to relay and gather information. Given the growing importance of social media as a disaster communication tool, it is vital to understand how individuals use, behave, and interpret information on social media sites in order to better inform policy, guidance, and operations and to ensure that emergency managers, first responders, and policy makers can best optimize how they use these tools.
Liu, Brooke, and Yan Jin, Julia Daisy Fraustino. 2013. "Social Media Use during Disasters Fact Sheet." Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. http://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/publications/local_attachments/STARTFactSheet_SocialMediaUseduringDisater.pdf