Using social media is not just the province of smartphone-wielding tweens and narcissistic twenty-somethings anymore.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said the agency, which has about 30,000 Twitter followers, has already put its new-found social media prowess into practice with the series of winter storm that roiled across the Midwest recently.
Using information from the National Weather Service and other emergency management agencies, he said, FEMA monitored severe weather and tweeted alerts to warn the public.
The Twitter efforts are a two-way street, though, Fugate suggested. FEMA is not just pontificating from on high, releasing tweets into the ether, oblivious to the broader tweeting community.
In fact, Fugate said FEMA often searches updates for “on-the-ground” information.
For example, while some tourists announced their intentions to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Earl’s path toward North Carolina in September, some refused to leave and made those plans clear, too. FEMA used that information to plan its search-and-rescue operations, Fugate told Nextgov.
So, the next time you tweet anything appended with “#Snomg,” know that FEMA is on top of things.