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Archived Content

In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

SMWG Documents

A list of published Social Media Working Group for Emergency Services and Disaster Management (SMWGESDM) (formerly the VSMWG) documents.

Social Media Working Group for Emergency Services and Disaster Management Fact Sheet is an overview of the goals, objectives and work of the SMWGESDM.

Countering False Information on Social Media in Disasters and Emergencies - March 2018 examines motivations people may have for sharing false information, discusses underlying issues that cause false information and offers case studies from recent disasters to illustrate the problem.

Best Practices for Incorporating Social Media into Exercises - March 2017 discusses how agencies and organizations can integrate social media into exercises, provides suggestions for the planning processes and methods for conducting the exercise and evaluation, and lists challenges associated with using social media in exercises, areas of future research and case study examples for agencies.

From Concept to Reality: Operationalizing Social Media for Preparedness, Response and Recovery – April 2016 provides an overview of how the role of social media in operations and decision-making continues to evolve as it is increasingly used for communications in preparedness, response and recovery.

Using Social Media for Enhanced Situational Awareness and Decision Support – June 2014 discusses examples of how agencies currently leverage social media to enhance situational awareness and support operational decision-making, as well as challenges and potential applications.

Lessons Learned: Social Media and Hurricane Sandy June 2013 provides an overview on how social media was used in preparation for, in response to, and in recovery from Hurricane Sandy (“Sandy”) in late October 2012. It also discusses processes identified by the first responder community as best practices; presents examples, themes in applications, and lessons learned; identifies gaps in technology, process, and/or policy; and offers points requiring further discussion.

Community Engagement and Social Media Best Practices – September 2012 discusses best practices for the use of social media by public safety agencies of all disciplines and partner organizations for meaningful and successful engagement of community members and stakeholders.

Next Steps: Social Media for Emergency Response – January 2012 serves as a follow-­up and supporting document to the Virtual Social Media Working Group’s (VSMWG) Social Media Strategy. It provides considerations and detailed next steps for public safety agencies developing and implementing social media.

Social Media Strategy – January 2012 provides a high-level introduction to social media and its benefits for public safety, examples and best practices from agencies already using social media, and serves as a starting point for developing an agency’s detailed social media strategy. 

Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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