5 Tips for using Twitter during emergencies and natural disaster

By Kathleen Reen
Friday, 21 September 2018

With typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and fires recently occurring across Asia; Twitter is the best place for people to find out ‘What’s Happening’ in real time.

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Research has shown that Twitter and other social media platforms can help track natural disasters in real time and alert first responders to areas that need urgent aid. In several countries in Asia, Twitter and Twitter Lite are important tools for people to communicate with each other, access critical information, and organize relief efforts in times of crisis.

When communication services are limited, Twitter and Twitter Lite are where government agencies, relief organizations, media, volunteers, and citizens go to communicate and collaborate - fast.

Here are 5 tips to get the most out of Twitter during emergencies and natural disasters:

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1 - Follow trusted sources and media organizations to get the latest news, as it happens. Twitter is where you go to see #WhatsHappening everywhere in the world, right now. Avoid sharing information that you are unable to verify.

 

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2 - Use the right hashtags. Hashtags are the best way for people to find information and conversations online, and they are used by media, government agencies and relief/volunteer organizations. To ensure that the hashtags remain useful, refrain from using hashtags for unrelated topics.

 

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3 - Use Twitter Lite to avoid challenges in data connectivity. In areas where telecommunications have been disrupted, Twitter Lite is the ideal platform to communicate and learn about emergency updates. Twitter Lite is a faster, data-friendly, and more accessible way for people to keep abreast of breaking news, or post live Twitter updates of emergency situations on-the-ground. Once loaded, the information on Twitter Lite can be accessed offline as well. Twitter Lite is available for download at the Google Play Store for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and on web browser for all other countries.

 

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4 - If you need help - or can help with relief efforts - mention or tag media, government agencies, relief and/or volunteer organizations who may be able to share your Tweet and amplify your voice.

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5 - Track the issue as it evolves with Twitter Moments. Moments are curated stories showcasing the most relevant Tweets for what’s happening on Twitter. Twitter Moments show current topics which are popular and relevant, so that you can discover what is unfolding on Twitter instantly. Create a chronological account of the situation and curate relevant Tweets, which can serve as a point of reference later on. Update the Moment on the fly with the latest Tweets and important information as they come in.

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We hope this information will enable more of our users in Asia to participate in rescue and relief efforts, save more lives, and help the affected people to recover from natural disasters.

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@kathleenreen

Kathleen Reen

‎@kathleenreen‎

Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy, APAC