Social media shows its value in Fraser Coast flooding
THE importance of social media was proved during last week's flood crisis, providing Fraser Coast residents with critical information almost instantly.
Fraser Coast Regional Council provided updates on the unfolding situation on their Fraser Coast disaster co-ordination centre Facebook page.
The council was among other organisations on Facebook and Twitter including the State Emergency Service, Queensland Police and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.
Emergency groups used the internet to communicate critical information to residents who were isolated or concerned.
Twitter was also an important tool, conveying fast information to residents about imminent danger including flooded roads, food supply and evacuation procedures.
Social media provided residents without mains power but with charged up smartphones, tablets or laptops the ability to log on and make informed decisions.
Fraser Coast Regional Council Community, Cultural and Family Services portfolio councillor George Seymour said social media was a critical tool for emergency services to communicate with the public.
"It was essential," he said.
"The amount of people following the council disaster page showed that."
At the time of publication the Disaster Co-ordination page had almost 4000 'likes' and continued to update residents on the progress of cleanup efforts.
Cr Seymour also said Council needed to use social media to quickly counter any misinformation.
"Rumours can start very easily and that's why it was really important for council to be involved," he said.
Readers of the Fraser Coast Chronicle also submitted over 50 flood photos to our Facebook page.
Check out our special report on the impact of the internet, on page 23.