Optimizing citizen engagement during emergencies through use of Web 2.0 technologies
Van Leuven, Laurie J.
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Emergencies and disasters create hardships for citizens. To speed up recovery, local governments need to engage with citizens in an interactive information sharing system to convey information while the incident is still developing and to help mitigate and recover from damages. Lack of effective communication can decrease public trust and engender stress and anxiety of the survivors. As service delivery becomes more complicated during an emergency, responders can also benefit from additional information from the public to increase situational awareness and better understand the challenges facing citizens. This thesis examines emergency information needs, emerging information sharing trends, and the potential homeland security application of Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogs, mashups and text messaging. This thesis examines the use of Web 2.0 technologies during the Southern California wildfires as a case study and interviews top emergency managers throughout the country capturing their insights and opinions about the benefits and pitfalls of incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into existing emergency information sharing systems. Local government agencies, the impacted community, and those outside the immediate area seeking opportunities to assist may be interested in the benefits of context-powered knowledge when collaboration from multiple sources converges to facilitate knowledge used for decision making.
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