recommended reading

FEMA Taps Behavior Side of Social Media

ARCHIVES

By Andrew Lapin February 17, 2012

recent posts

Somewhere buried within the wealth of personal information on Facebook and Twitter is a basic, scientific need to communicate, and FEMA wants to work with that.

At an event concerning the role social media plays in government crisis management co-hosted by Global Health Initiative, Inc. and the National Defense University, a representative from FEMA discussed the behavioral science in social media and how that can be leveraged in disaster response.

"People's decisions in crisis are inherently social," said David Kaufman, director of policy and analysis at FEMA. "The average person checks in with 4-5 other people before deciding what to do under mandatory evacuation order. And if you don't believe me, look around the next time you're in a building and the fire alarm goes off."

Kaufman said that behavioral science has led to an "explosion in our understanding of how people make choices, what informs those choices." FEMA, he said, has "only begun to think about the applicability" of the platform.

Kaufman, who noted that government's aggregation capabilities are "insufficient" for handling the wealth of social information, said FEMA has quickly learned how to engage the public in the wake of large-scale disasters in order to implement social media into the rebuilding process.

Because, as Kaufman said, "the public is always the first responder," there is tremendous potential for government to better engage with civilians in times of crisis.

When an audience member asked what would happen to a social media-focused emergency management unit in the event of a large-scale power outage, Kaufman acknowledged such a process would become difficult, noting, "There's no silver bullet, there's no panacea, that's going to address all these issues."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.