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International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences (IJPHCS)
Open Access e-journal ISSN : 2289-7577


Abdul Mueez A.S, Mardiana O., Rosliza A.M.


Background: Communication breakdown is one of the major problems that occur during disaster event, despite its importance in disaster management. In recent years, the social media, which has gained its popularity and expanded its function, provides a promising solution in disaster management over traditional communication. This paper aims to determine the role of social media in disaster management cycle and to create a framework for the application.

Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted systematically using PubMed, Google Scholar, Science-direct and Scopus with keywords of role of social media OR social media AND disaster event OR natural disaster. The literature searched was limited to documented natural disaster for the past ten years, open source articles, original article and reported in English language. Primary screening of title and abstract involved 128 articles, from there, 90 articles were excluded. Secondary eligibility screening of the remaining 38 articles, resulted in 14 articles which were then synthesized and reviewed in this manuscript.

Result: A framework was produced pertaining to role of social media according to disaster management cycle. In mitigation phase the role of social media includes incorporation of risk reduction and preventative activities. Further into preparedness phase,  social media  provides disaster warnings, implement crisis communication activities and signal/detect disaster. Further to response phase, the role includes deliver and analyse news coverage of disaster, provide and receive disaster respond information, send and receive request for assistance and reconnect family members. Finally, in the recovery phase, social media  raises donation and awareness, encourage volunteerism and provide/receive information on recovery and rebuilding process. This review highlighted the dynamic and complexity of social media functions in providing better communication approach during disaster management.

Conclusion: Social media certainly has the  capacity to become an alternative mode of communication to complement traditional communication during disaster. However, drawbacks from using social media and its implications in disaster management need to be considered as well.

Keywords:  social media; social network, disaster, communication

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