Article Analysis: 'Understanding The Power of Social Media as a Communication Tool in the Aftermath of Disasters' by Craig Fugate

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Social Media Communication in the Aftermath of a Disaster The article "Understanding the Power of Social Media as a Communication Tool in the Aftermath of Disasters," by Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), addresses what social media can do when things go wrong and people try to find out what is happening and stay in touch with loved ones. While there is no actual research question stated, and the article is not a study, there is an implied research question: how can social media be used to help with communication in the aftermath of a disaster? Fugate (2011) makes the argument that there is much that can be done with social media, and that it can and should be used to get the word out to people when a disaster has occurred and everyone is trying to find out what they should do next. Social media can provide information about the actual disaster, and it can also be used to let people know that their loved ones are all right and that they are safe after something devastating has occurred. Not everyone uses social media, of course, but many people do use it because they want to showcase the value of what they are doing. They want to "talk" to others through social media outlets, but they are doing a lot of that for their own agenda (Benkler, 2006). Many are selling something to others, and those who are just using it to connect with other people spend much more time talking about what they are doing than they do inquiring about

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