While our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered the devastation of yesterday’s tornados, many of us also saw the event play out in real time on social media sites like Twitter. During the course of the day, the Oklahoma chapter of the Red Cross has utilized Twitter to do everything from broadcast the locations of emergency shelters as they opened, to mobilize with volunteer groups to get drinking water to people who need it, to coordinate with local businesses for fundraising efforts.
— American Red Cross (@RedCross) May 21, 2013
And that’s just one example of many. The ability to mobilize and communicate rapidly on social media has, no doubt, saved many lives during natural disasters. This infographic from the University of San Francisco breaks down the role that social media plays in the wake of a natural disaster. The stats gathered from past events like Superstorm Sandy and the earthquake in Haiti paint a very real picture of how people mobilize and communicate when traditional lines break down – not only in the area affected, but around the globe.