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A new study analyzes millions of Twitter posts during a hurricane to understand how people communicate in the event of a disaster.

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Faced with a potentially catastrophic storm like Hurricane Aida, people go to Twitter and other social media sites to convey important information.New research published in the journal Risk analysis By monitoring and analyzing this social media “chattering” during natural disasters, decision makers can learn how to plan and mitigate the effects of bad weather in their communities.


Jose E. Ramirez-Marquez of Stevens Institute of Technology and Gabriela Gongora-Svartzman of Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University analyzed more than 6 million Twitter posts between the three. Major hurricanes Hurricane (Texas), Irma (Florida) and Maria (Puerto Rico) landed in 2017. The goal of their research was to develop and test new methods for measurement. Social cohesionAn important element of community resilience during stormy weather events caused by climate change.

The methodology presented in Risk analysis Text processing techniques and graph network analytics need to be implemented in combination to understand the relationships between nine different categories of Twitter users during a hurricane.These include citizens media, Government, Entertainment, Business, Charity-NGO-Volunteer, Sports, Technology-Science-Education, and other validated accounts. Knowing who the participants are behind the message is what kind of message the authorities convey, how hurricane-affected people interact with them, and what their needs are. Helps researchers identify which.

Visualizations incorporated into the survey show the relationship between social media participants and social degree Agglutination The entire timeline for each hurricane.

Social cohesion is said to be the “adhesive that connects society.” It affects how the community gets together when needed. Social cohesion helps reduce the number of vulnerabilities the community experiences in the event of a disaster and reduces the time it takes to rebuild. The stronger the social cohesion, the more resilient the community.

“Measuring and understanding social cohesion within a community can increase cohesion through policies, community programs and other strategies, which increases the resilience of the community,” said Gongora-Svartzman. I am. “People in more resilient communities are willing to volunteer and help each other in the event of a disaster. They also have more information, so who to ask for help and what resources are available. I know if it’s available and how to help in the event of a disaster. ”

The visualization of this study shows seven metrics that are combined to create a single measure of social cohesion. One of those indicators is the dissemination of information. This refers to the strength of the tweets in the timeline captured for each hurricane, or the communication between participants. This timeline of social media activity for each hurricane shows the daily active participants before, during, and after the hurricane. The graph of the data shows that the communication strength of each hurricane peaks just before or after the hurricanes land. In the case of Maria, Puerto Rico, analysis shows that a significant amount of conversation has been going on for over a week. Hurricane End — Means that post-disaster management strategies have been implemented, rescued, and reconstruction efforts have begun to progress.

Researchers hope that this new way of tracking and visualizing social media communications during a violent storm can contribute to future risk management and disaster mitigation policies. “To identify the types of actors in a social network and how this network changes daily. The person who makes the decision These measurements can be used to release strategic communication before, during, and after a disaster and to provide relevant information to those in need, “says Ramirez Marquez.

He added that it is important to understand what happened during each storm in order to mitigate the impact on the most vulnerable people in the light of the devastating impact of Hurricane Aida on the people of New Orleans. increase. “A national database of pre-disaster social media communications would better identify community needs and current policies and response limits,” says Ramirez Marquez. “We are concerned that Katrina’s most severely affected communities will be severely affected again in Aida, which indicates a lack of learning from past events. ”


Hurricane Aida can be the most expensive weather disaster: United Nations


For more information:
Gabriela Gongora-Svartzman et al, Social Cohesion: Mitigating Societal Risk in Case Studies of Digital Media in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, Risk analysis (2021). DOI: 10.1111 / risa.13820

Provided by Risk Analysis Society

Quote: A new study analyzes millions of Twitter posts during a hurricane to understand how people are communicating in a disaster (September 9, 2021). -disaster.html

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A new study analyzes millions of Twitter posts during a hurricane to understand how people communicate in the event of a disaster.

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