Essay on Can New Zealand Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms towards Disaster Management?

Submitted By cam-mac
Words: 1889
Pages: 8

Can New Zealand take advantage of social media platforms for use in disaster management?

Report prepared by Genius Consulting Ltd for The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

Abstract
This report explores the potential impact, feasibility and technical challenges of regional and national government implementation of social networking use for natural disasters in New Zealand. To do this, the report considers peer reviewed research conducted in similar situations in three countries in the last three years, Japan (Mar ‘11), Christchurch (Sep ’10, Feb ’11) & Haiti (Jan ‘10). This report finds that two way communication between people and the authorities is vital before and after a large scale natural disaster. There are varied communication platforms that can be deployed. This also report finds there are many options available to Civil Defence and these can be implemented very quickly. This report recommends an active, multifaceted, approach to social media due to the potential for massive cost savings and reduced injury and death toll in a large scale emergency.

Table of contents
1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………..…….1 1.1 Background and Research…...………………………………………………………………..1 1.2 Limitations of Research & Findings…..………………………..………………………….1

2. Findings and discussion………………………………………………………………………………….....2 2.1 Types of Social Media Used………………………………………………….…………………2
2.2 New Zealand Internet Data…………………………………………………………………….3 2.2.1 Internet Usage………………………………………………………………………………..3 2.2.2 Social Media Popularity…………………………………………………………………..4 2.2.3 Internet & Cellular Accessibility………………………………………………………4 2.3 Previous Social Media Use in Disaster Management……………………………….5 3. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………….……………………..6

4. Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………………….7

5. References………………………………………………………………………………………………………..8

1. Introduction
1.1 Background and Research
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management has requested an evaluation of the potential of incorporating social media to manage New Zealand disasters effectively, reducing harm to individuals and property, increasing public awareness and enabling rapid response. This report aims to determine whether social media can be implemented into current Emergency strategies, what social media can be used, assessing the benefits of different social media platforms, as well as their risks and limitations.

This report examines research of recent disasters, technical documents relating to communications, and previous best practise reports & advice. Where possible, these have been chosen from New Zealand & Australia sources due to relevance, the many similarities between the two countries and the cooperation they share in emergency situations. Research used has also come from Brittan and the United States of America where relevant.

1.2 Limitations of Research & Findings

Findings in this report are limited to the current technologies widely in use in the general population. There will be no looking into how these technologies will evolve over time, and expected (or unexpected) advances in technology are not assumed.

Also, this is not a report into costs, financial assessments or cost-benefit analysis. Where care is taken to provide information on degrees of difficulty in implementation or resource requirements, there is no financial forecasting, nor are there any investigations into suppliers, or information into how to set up the proposed social networks.

This report should be seen only as a feasibility study.

2. Findings and discussions.
2.1 Types of Social Media Used
Social media are types of online media that allow for conversation between people, groups, businesses & government. Jones (2009) describes it as “… essentially a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking and bookmarking online.” He goes on to say…