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In case of emergency, check Twitter

InformationWeek, August 1, 2011

Twitter, Facebook, and online communities can help healthcare organizations, emergency personnel, and government agencies better prepare for and respond to emergencies, so it's a good idea to integrate these technologies into planning, according to three public-health professionals. "Clearly, social media are changing the way people communicate not only in their day-to-day lives, but also during disasters that threaten public health. Engaging with and using emerging social media may well place the emergency-management community, including medical and public health professionals, in a better position to respond to disasters," Raina M. Merchant, MD, Stacy Elmer, and Nicole Lurie, MD, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response wrote in a New England Journal of Medicine commentary.