7 Ways to Use Social Media Before, During, and After a Flood

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery, Floods September 30, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

The same social media sites that you use in your daily life to share and connect with friends can become a lifeline before, during, or after a flood. Including social media outlets in your family emergency plans is a great idea, but always have a back-up plan and keep important phone numbers in a safe place because you may not have access to these sites. 

These are some ways that you can use sites such as FacebookTwitterYoutubePinterest, and Foursquare throughout a flood event.

1. Find preparedness tips 

Many nonprofit and government social media accounts share tips on how to prepare, respond and recover from a flood event. Tips on what to put in emergency kits can be found on Pinterest as well.

2. Keep informed of potential or impending flooding 

By following agencies such as the National Weather Service, local government offices, and local weather reporters you can get alerts about impending threats. Often evacuation orders and instructions will be announced on government agencies’ social media outlets. 

3. Share information with your neighbors about flood threats and evacuation orders

Your neighbors may not by tied into the same social networks as you. Help keep each other informed. 

4. Keep your friends and family informed of your whereabouts

  • Send updates through social media to inform your friends and family of the safety of you and your family. Foursquare is a particularly useful platform for doing this.
  • It is especially important to let people know your status if you choose not evacuate.

5. Find an evacuation destination 

6. Keep informed while you’re evacuated

If you evacuate, you can keep up to date with what is happening back home through neighbors’ Facebook pages, local nonprofits’ Facebook pages, local government pages, local media, and other community group pages.

7. Gather information on recovery

There are many opportunities for homeowners to use social media to assist them throughout the often long and complicated recovery process.  

  • Gather information from other individuals experiencing recovery from the same event.
  • Gather advice from others who have gone through similar events on how to recover. Check out the Extension Disaster Education Network on Pinterest.
  • Seek help from friends and family throughout the recovery process.
  • Connect with nonprofits and other community groups that are providing recovery assistance.
  • Connect with government agencies such as FEMA that are offering resources for recovery.

Be sure to remember that, depending on the situation, you may not have access to these sites. Always have a back-up plan and keep important phone numbers in a safe place. 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.