FEMA IS-42 Answers: Social Media in Emergency Management

Social media is a new technology that not only allows for another channel of broadcasting messages to the public but also allows for two-way communication between emergency managers and major stakeholder groups. Increasingly the public is turning to social media technologies to obtain up-to-date information during emergencies and to share data about the disaster in the form of geodata, text, pictures, video, or a combination of these media. Social media also can allow for greater situational awareness for emergency responders. While social media allows for many opportunities to engage in an effective conversation with stakeholders, it also holds many challenges for emergency managers.

The purpose of this course is to provide the participants with best practices including tools, techniques and a basic roadmap to build capabilities in the use of social media technologies in their own emergency management organizations (State, local, Tribal) in order to further their emergency response missions.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain why social media is important for emergency management
  • Describe the major functions and features of common social media sites currently used in emergency management
  • Describe the opportunities and challenges of using social media applications during the 5 phases of emergency management
  • Describe better practices for using social media applications during the 5 phases of emergency management
  • Describe the process for building the capabilities and sustaining the use of social media in an emergency management organization (State, local, tribal, territorial)

IS-42 Answers

Which type of Social Media platform is the most like Old Media?

A. Twitter: Fewer characters are allowed per post so information must be precisely worded
B. Blogging: allows for a single author with limited public interaction
C. Facebook: Most postings are carefully researched and unbiased
D. Youtube: the use of video mimics the format of televised news broadcasts


When adopting the use of social media in emergency management, it is important to have:

A. Only people who are internet savvy handling social media correspondence
B. An outcome you wish to achieve through the use of social media tools
C. At least three social media platforms in use
D. Very little community input so as to not detract from your organization’s goals


What is a major internal concern that could affect the incorporation of social media into emergency management?

A. How to track, use and protect citizen’s privacy and personal information
B. Security policies and restrictions related to IT systems
C. Staff may not be familiar with the applications
D. All of the above


By posting a video on Youtube, displaying an emergency response drill to a domestic terrorism situation, an emergency management agency succeeds in not only preparing first responders but also in ___________________

A. Informing the public and helping the community feel at ease
B. Fostering understanding of other cultures
C. Helping viewers receive information in an emergency
D. Promoting the need for inter­agency coordination


The best reason for evaluating the measurement of your social media impact is to:

A. Compare the success of your agency to those in neighboring counties and states
B. Identify the most popular social media platforms for posting messages
C. Look at ways to adjust content to reach a wider audience
D. All of the above


Which transition level is designed to begin the process of public participation?

A. Level 1: Monitor
B. Level 2: Command
C. Level 3: Coordinate
D. Level 4: Cooperate
E. Level 5: Collaborate


Social media is a valuable tool because it:

A. Greatly accelerates the speed of sharing information
B. Is widely available to the public
C. Provides the capacity for the public to influence the decisions and actions of the government
D. All of the above


By allowing a community group to repost your content, and following them in order to support them where you can and to insure your content is represented properly, your organization is able to:

A. Reach a larger group of constituents
B. Build situational awareness
C. Foster transparency and accountability
D. Respond to new, incorrect, or conflicting information


In order to be more cost-effective, it is important when establishing a support structure to:

A. Find employees with social media experience and put them in charge of your program
B. Be creative in using current staff and cross-train on the different platforms used
C. Enlist local graduate students to manage your social media presence
D. Hire enough staff to assure 24­hour coverage to monitor social media


Taking information, ­gathering tasks, that would normally be done by in house, dedicated staff, and outsourcing to the public are known as:

A. Community­ collaboration
B. Crowd­ sourcing
C. Public­ assistance
D. Volunteer ­reinforcement


What is the most useful advantage of social media in an emergency response effort?

A. Being able to communicate directly with constituents
B. The ability to build situational awareness
C. The speed in which information can be delivered directly to the public
D. All of the above


In order to increase your capacity to manage social media communication, in particular during a crisis when social networks are very active with posts, an option would be to:

A. Only focus on posts from or about victims
B. Block users from posting information about anything other than the crisis at hand
C. Defer monitoring of social media until the workload dies down
D. Use pre­identified, trained volunteers


An example of fostering transparency and accountability would be to:

A. Stream live video from the agency’s Emergency Operations Center
B. Correct misinformation concerning a failing pumping station during a severe rainstorm
C. Post information about a wildfire in a neighboring county
D. Tweeting the location of vaccination sites during a flu pandemic


What advantages does the Internet offer for sharing news that Old Media does not?

A. There are more people who use the internet than there are that listen to AM radio
B. Only very reliable sources can post information
C. The social media are updated 24 hours a day so news can be shared when it occurs
D. When information is posted, people can comment on it and share it with others


One key benefit that the use of social media gives emergency response organizations during times of disaster is?

A. The ability to connect directly to people in need of assistance
B. It can pinpoint the location of disaster victims
C. It is accessible by a limited number of people who will pass the information along
D. The ability to reach elected officials


Which best exemplifies the use of social media to save lives in a fast moving disaster event?

A. Updating a blog with the locations of application centers for disaster assistance loans
B. Posting pictures of property damage to Flickr after a tornado
C. Tweeting warnings of road closures and hazardous conditions during a snow storm
D. Using Youtube to post videos from the County Executive at a ceremony honoring disaster survivors


One example of how social media can be used to build community resilience by the promotion of participation in government, would be to

A. Allowing community groups to repost your content and offering support in their discussion of the materials
B. Engage community groups through their social media presence.
C. Interacting with community members regarding their expectations of your organization
D. All of the above


What is the most important change the internet and social media has brought to sharing information?

A. Not much has changed
B. Average citizens are given a voice and can interact with others about information given or received
C. Press releases are more important than they were with Old Media
D. The internet is available 24/7


It is important when you first start using social media, to create a trial account because this will allow you to:

A. Become familiar with the program
B. Decide which social media outlet best fits your needs
C. Make small mistakes without having to worry about the impact
D. All of the above


The benefit of posting pictures of flooding after a major storm is?

A. Communicating directly and responding to false or conflicting information
B. Building community resilience through prevention, mitigation and preparedness
C. Building situation awareness throughout the community
D. Saving lives in a fast moving disaster event


An RSS feed allows an organization to publish new content on a website, blog or other platform and syndicate this to subscribers. RSS would be useful in establishing a social media presence because it:

A. Makes it easier for people to subscribe to your webpage without having to go and visit it
B. Automatically signs the user up to follow your Twitter and Facebook posts
C. Forces people to visit your website in order to boost your site’s visitor count
D. There is no real benefit because it allows users to get information without having to support your organization’s social media pages


You notice that an association of nursing homes in your county has an active Twitter account. Your association has been having trouble getting them involved in emergency preparation drills, so you decide to monitor their accounts, to follow their tweets and participate in the conversation when appropriate. By doing so you are able to:

A. Reach a larger group of constituents
B. Build community resilience through prevention, mitigation and preparedness efforts by promotion of participation in government
C. Communicate more directly and effectively with constituents
D. Save lives through rapid communication


Someone has spread a rumor about an ongoing disaster and the emergency management organization uses its Facebook page to correct the information. This exemplifies how social media can be used to:

A. Foster transparency and accountability
B. Build situational awareness
C. Communicate more effectively and directly with constituents
D. Respond quickly and effectively to new, incorrect or conflicting data


This transition level allows emergency managers to study the social media medium and language used in order to better understand the workings of the service.

A. Level 1: Monitor
B. Level 2: Control
C. Level 3: Coordinate
D. Level 4: Cooperate
E. Level 5: Collaborate


In the event of a tornado, the most effective social media platform to use to warn citizens would be?

A. Twitter
B. Blogs
C. Flickr
D. Youtube


Which of these advantages to social media as a New Media, could also be viewed as a disadvantage?

A. Multiple channels and ways of presenting information
B. Anyone with access and minimal skills can post and repurpose information gathered
C. Information is shared faster by cutting out the middle man
D. Often free to join and use and can be used by billions of people


An emergency management agency uses Youtube to post videos on how to prepare for disasters. Which level of transition does this fall under?

A. Level 1: Monitor
B. Level 2: Command
C. Level 3: Coordinate
D. Level 4: Cooperate
E. Level 5: Collaborate


What is the most important external issue when using social media in emergency management?

A. Nationally, 22 percent of adults do not use or have access to the internet
B. Advertising can limit the reach of social media
C. An extended power outage could limit its effectiveness
D. Social media servers are only able to host a small number of users