Social media provides personal insights in a crisis

"Elk Bath" – A wildfire in the Bitte...

Wildfires are burning in Herriman, Utah. Several houses have been destroyed and people are waiting, waiting to see if their homes are next. Traditional media is doing a good job covering the fire and, from what I have heard/seen, traditional crisis management is “doing its thing”.

If you use Twitter you will find a more personal perspective of the fire from those in the middle of the crisis, see these tweets as an example:

  • I could see the #herrimanfire while driving to work. Eerily impressive as expected but sadly I can’t maintain a watch from my work desk.
  • … It’s not like nice fireplace smell. It wants to be but it’s not. #herrimanfire #utah #cantsleep
  • My apartment reeks of smoke and my doors and windows have been shut all day and night. I live by the U. #herrimanfire #utah

Social media can supplement traditional media to help people in a crisis. It often provides information faster than traditional channels, sometimes 15 – 20 minutes faster. However, it also provides something that traditional media often is unable to deliver….It delivers the real, unfiltered, experience of those living through the crisis. Good luck to all of you in Herriman.


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