Editor’s Note: The following is a statement sent to BeaverCountian.com by Eric Brewer, Director of Beaver County Emergency Services (911). It is being published in full as submitted.
The main use of social media in Emergency Management is for the dissemination of preparedness information, to build situational awareness and to correct misinformation / rumor control. The latter is what we’re finding more of what we are doing than the others.
My agency represents a majority of Emergency Management Agency’s across the country, in that we don’t have the luxury that a city or state agency has. They are able to monitor social media 24/7, we do not, which is why you should NOT use social media to report an emergency.
I have a staff of four in my (Emergency Management Agency) division and their primary functions are grants and planning requirements.
Continuous rumor control from social media pages such as “The News Alerts of Beaver County” has become a burdensome task for emergency managers and public safety officials across the county.
Information that is put on our social media pages is vetted and fact checked prior to distribution.
Director of Emergency Services