#SMEM: in a crisis, adopt the civic response and take to social networks!
Whilst social media represent a new communication channel for the public authorities, they can be used for more than just communication. They also present an opportunity for the authorities to involve the public in a less top-down, more participatory way, notably in crisis situations.
This is what #SMEM, or Social Media for Emergency Management, is designed to achieve. In the event of a natural disaster, for example, the State has to be able to rely on proactive, motivated internet-users to both circulate reliable official information on the crisis and report information on the ground using all the tools of the social web, including tweets, geolocated photos, interactive maps and crowdsourcing tools. By working with internet-users, the State can extend the reach of the information it circulates, expand the scope of the information it receives, and more effectively manage the crisis as a result.
In collaboration with the VISOV association (Volunteer International Virtual Operations Support Team), since 2014 SIG has been working on incorporating the #SMEM approach into governmental and prefectural communication. And since this approach relies primarily on citizens being well-informed and aware of the potential benefits – and indeed risks – of social media, we are now publishing an initial series of infographics outlining basic best #SMEM practices for internet-users.
Adopting the #SMEM reflex
When a natural or technological disaster strikes, or in the wake of an attack or an accident, you need relevant information to both anticipate the risks and stay informed of any preventive and security measures you should be taking to protect yourself and others in order to help your fellow citizens.
You are at the heart of the event. Each of you is in a position to produce, relay and increase the reach of the information circulating on social networks and the internet in general.
Security forces are deployed: the circulation of incorrect information can jeopardise the proper deployment of emergency teams and subject both you and those around you to further risks.
We want to help you to play your part responsibly with the following infographics offering a step-by-step guide to what to do.
If you want to stay well-informed, be selective when it comes to the sources of the information circulating on social media: subscribe to the right accounts and share preventive messages.
Only circulate official or reliable information – avoid spreading rumours!
Road conditions, injured people... Once you are in a position of safety, help emergency response teams by providing them with practical information regarding your environment via social networks.