Engaging Citizens the Right Way: Government Uses Twitter During Hurricane Irene

Paul Greenburg | ZD Net | September 12, 2011

For the last several years there has been a lot of discussion about the use of web based social media for the engagement of citizens. Nowhere has this discussion been more active and persistent, nor more important, than in what I will call broadly the emergency preparedness and response (EPR) community.

The reason can be summed up in the words of FEMA’s Administrator Craig Fugate who has repeated stated that effective emergency preparedness and response has to take a “whole of community” approach where participation in community discussions and establishing mechanisms for online engagement are critical. Not only is it often the case that the “first responder” in an emergency is your neighbor, but everyone affected by a crisis is involved in one way or another....