Survey Shows Social Media Being Used More Often When Disaster Strikes

A new survey shows Americans are relying more on social media and texting when disaster strikes.   “Get Ready,  America!, the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, has released a survey that shows social media and texting are becoming the leading ways people will communicate in a disaster. 

The Sachs/Mason-Dixon commissioned poll found 72% of Americans are members of a social network. 45% of them say they’d rely on it to communicate with friends and family in a disaster and another 24% say they might.

There are some demographic differences. Social media is more prevalent among younger Americans, with 91% of those 18 to 34 connected. 63% of those respondents said they would use those platforms to communicate in a disaster.

For people ages 35 to 59, 75% said they use social media and 44% of them would use it to communicate in a disaster.

Ryan Duffy, managing director of Sachs Digital, says they’re recommending everyone have a mobile phone as part of their disaster kit.  

Duffy says cell phone companies look for areas hardest hit by natural disasters and bring in Cell on Wheels units to provide access if there’s a downed cell phone tower.

Duffy says it really can save a life if you have the right information.  He believes it’s worth everyone’s while to follow local emergency service agencies on Facebook or Twitter and to have a greater sense of awareness when disaster strikes.

ReadyPA is currently on Facebook. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is still reviewing Twitter.