Disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Haiti and Chile earthquake in 2010 all remind us that we are vulnerable to these natural disasters and that we still need far better preparedness in case of these emergencies. The natural disasters are unavoidable but the losses of lives in natural disasters or any crisis is more due to lack of preparedness, lack of communication, lack of knowledge about emergency plan and crisis management and the poor disaster management methods. Chaos generally is created after any emergency due to improper messages being communicated or due to poor communication. Social networking sites have become an important tool for communication even in the times of emergencies. Government organizations spend a huge amount of money on early warning systems and the disaster management planning but the information disseminated, control and communication, coordination etc. are still inadequate. Thus, there is a need for proper communication and coordination where the whole mass of the people can be involved at the same time. Social networking media has proven to be a successful tool for communicating the large masses. Thus, this work proposes a project to utilize the advantages of social networking media as a powerful communication and coordination system for the emergency management system.
Keywords: Social networking sites, Crisis management system, Early warning system.
Today people try to get information regarding their loved ones, friends, or families in case of emergencies via social networking sites. In the case of the recent Chennai flood, many Facebook users posted the status that they are fine, or there is an availability of food and water for the needy at a specified address, or one can get medicines by calling a given number, etc. Through this social media vehicle, many people were able to get access to basic amenities like medicines, food, and water (Pradnya, 2015). Thus, social networking sites can be used for communicating in case of emergencies, or for the purpose of emergency management, so as to reduce the miss information and chaos and help a life in danger.
The aim of the project is to design a social networking based application compatible with other social networking sites for emergency management.
Through this application, one can be able to get updates from early warning systems, updates on any emergencies, information on the whereabouts of friends and family members, information about emergency planning and steps for emergency management, key addresses and places to approach in case of emergency and coordinate together with NGOs, government to reduce the impact of any emergency or crisis. This application can be used by an organization, like the American Red Cross, for communicating and disseminating information in case of any crisis management. For example, the Red Cross can use it for contacting any inventory supplies, or to mobilize any doctor to an emergency place, etc. ( Loveland, 2011).
Social networking is an online platform for social media programs. The reach of social networking is worldwide. Through social networking we can easily say or present our message directly to the masses. It becomes a very important medium between sender and receiver. Social networking can help us in each and every field of life such as business, family, friends, and followers. Social networking can play a very important role in promotional events. In this period of time, the use of social networking is increasing rapidly. Many sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook, twitter, hike, YouTube, etc., are being used worldwide. Social networking becomes a helping hand of the masses in each and every field of life.
Social Networking in Natural Disasters
At the time of natural disasters, the social networking sites can play a very effective and important role for the sake of people. With the help of these social networking sites, the accurate conditions and locations can be found out easily. The government agencies have limited resources to help the masses at the time of natural disaster. There is a lack of fast social networking sites in the government sector. The technology that can collaborate with emergency managers and the masses during a natural disaster is not good as the need for government. So the emergency management of the government is quite slow. By the use of these social networking sites all the accurate information about the natural disaster can reach frequently to the masses, and on the other hand, these sites provide facilities useful permanence for a natural disaster such the collection of important information, mapping, shelter, and taking precautions. Social networking can use the two-way process at the time of natural disaster. The rescue efforts become more effective and work in a very systematically way by the use of these social networking sites (Cutter, 2003).
Social networking sites such as Facebook, twitter, and YouTube can play a very important and meaningful role in the recently occurred natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods.
It can give correct information at the time of natural disaster.
It can provide donors and volunteers to the affected areas.
It can create awareness between peoples and encourage them for help.
It can work as a medium between the helping and affected
A rescue operation becomes more powerful and it can also give all the useful information such as aid center, rescue team and budget etc.
The research by American Red Cross shows that the scope of social networking sites increases at a high level, and the users of social networking sites increases daily. Many other types of research also proved that the role of social media sites become very important when nature strikes (Nguyen, 2011).
There are four different ways that describe the use of social networking sites during a natural disaster.
Family and friends communication- it helps to know correct information and locations during a natural It also helps to connect with relatives and friends.
Situation updates- the information about road closers, power outages, fire and accidental areas are share with peoples, neighbor, and communities with the help of social networking sites.
Supplemental awareness- the citizens cannot believe the information provided by traditional channels. They believe that the information provided by them is not correctly provided because it can work according to the government.
Services access assistance- social media channels can work effectively after the natural disaster for the help of citizens and fulfill all their need after a crisis (Vieweg et al. ,2010).
Examples: In 2003 there was an outbreak of SARS and the citizens used the social networking sites to share the locations of outbreaks, symptoms and possible remedies. There was an increase of social networking activity from February 8 to 10 in that year where people were sharing information related to SARS.
The main idea of this project is to develop a social networking application compatible with Facebook, twitter, other social networking sites and mobile based applications that shall act as one source for emergency management and an emergency lifeline for a person or a group of person in case of emergency. The functionalities proposed in this application are as follows:
Timeline for the project
Number of days required
designing the application
the back end design
Final submission & review
Total number of days
Preventing a natural disaster is beyond the human scope and preventing loss of human lives is again not inevitable. But preparing against the natural disaster, making plans for rescue operations, implementing can help in saving many lives. Through the integration of information technology-based social networking system for emergency management, a proper management of the implementation of the early warning system and crisis management can save human lives.
Cutter, S. L. (2003). GI Science, disasters, and emergency management. Transactions in GIS, 7, 439–445. doi:10.1111/1467-9671.00157
Loveland (2011). INFOGRAPHIC: How Social Media Is Used During A Natural Disaster. Retrieved from: http://www.scribbal.com/2011/10/infographic-how-social-media-is-used-during-a-natural-disaster/.
Nguyen, T. (2011). After disasters, social media struggles to keep up with expectations. Retrieved from: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/26/after-disasters-social-media-struggles-to-keep-up-with-expectations/.
Pradnya (2015). How Social Media Helped During Chennai Floods As A Disaster Management Tool. Retrieved from: http://www.digitalvidya.com/blog/how-social-media-helped-during-chennai-floods-as-a-disaster-management-tool/
Vieweg, S., Hughes, A., Starbird, K., & Palen, L. (2010). Microblogging during two natural hazards events: what twitter may contribute to situational awareness. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Human Interaction (CHI), Atlanta, GA (pp. 1079–1088).
EMAN-670 Essay Grading Rubric – Capstone Project Proposal
Grammar, spelling, punctuation
APA Style for citations and references
Paper formatting & length
Title page; organization of proposal format.
Critical issue identified
Critical issue supported
(See Comments below)
Use of at least 3 supporting academic references
Comments: Tolu, I am intrigued by your project. It seems aggressive!
You should plan on testing to see if the app does what you say it should do, and include user feedback.
I will be satisfied with at least a working trial version. You are encouraged to continue it after completion of the course.
93 = 9.3 / 10
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