Here’s a quick, non-exhaustive list of tips about tweeting in severe weather, including from @NWSNorman in their recent [INFOGRAPHIC] appealing to everyone to work together to make twitter a better source of reliable socially shared information.
Warnings and severe weather reports are highly perishable
Possibly most important is to date and time stamp your tweets, especially when it contains actionable information as important as “take cover now [name of town]”. Include the time zone of the impacted location. Retweets happen from all over the globe and not everyone will be aware of the time zone in the place you’re naming and the difference with their own. Double check at www.timeanddate.com . Warnings and severe weather reports are highly perishable, so don’t retweet them without a date and time stamp. Other tips include:
Think before you retweet
- If you’re not sure about the source of an image, don’t spread it around by retweeting it.
- Think twice, tweet once
Make quality reports – add useful information, always include
- what you saw
- where it happened
- a picture if you have one
“Help us to help you”
- Tweet @yourofficialagencies – Mention official agencies in your tweet to make sure they see it, e.g. @NWSNorman
- Turn on location services – We know many people have their location services (geolocation) turned off their phone for privacy reasons, but you need to turn location services on in your settings during an emergency or disaster situation, especially if you’re submitting reports, photos and videos. A photo that cannot be verified as to location may have very limited use, if any, regardless of the awesomeness of the photo.
Keywords and Hashtags
- Include local place name, county
- Use the US convention for weather events – e.g #txwx, #OKwx
- Be aware that hashtags vary by incident and that monitoring is usually needed at the early onset of an incident to determine what the public is using, and then reach them using those tags. (If you don’t have the resources to do that monitoring yourself, you need a social media team, and/ or a #VOST)
Follow @FEMA’s example
— FEMA (@fema) April 14, 2012
And post-edited to add this:
— Craig Fugate (@CraigatFEMA) April 25, 2014
Do you have other useful tips and resources to share?
Author: Joanna Lane