Communication platforms that can be used to reach citizens during disasters


Generally, practitioners identified a variety of communication platforms across different types of social media and smartphone apps, which can be used in emergency and disaster situations and management: “We have 4 ways to reach recipients through cell phone or landline phone, app or certified SMS” (G2; R - see source document for full reference), “orange code is distributed with newsletters, apps, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, all the social media and is sent to pharmacies, […] medical offices” (G2; R). Practitioners referred to the promise of instant messaging (IM) communications, which they saw as enabling them to reach large numbers of citizens instantly in case of a disaster situation, for example, through WhatsApp, Telegram or other IM services where practitioners can inform groups of citizens: “WeChat is a Chinese app which is taking over the country. They have groups that reach 5, 000 people” (G1; R). Social media and app resources were seen to provide further benefits in emergency and disaster situations as they can be used for effective communication when traditional means of communication fail: “The use of social media would allow me to receive in the context of ordinary social media, danger alerts, where the operation unit 115 or the local police don’t work. I think that in Emilia Romagna you have Apps for the use of criticality alerts, urban propriety and others, in Tuscany no, for example Sesto Fiorentino has it” (G3; R2).

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