Class teaches how to utilize social media during natural disasters

Class teaches how to utilize social media during natural disasters
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of social media lovers and haters got together Wednesday to learn how Facebook and Twitter could help save lives.

Emergency responders, students, and professionals attended the class at Arkansas State University to learn how to use social media during a natural disaster.

The class was taught by instructors from the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center out of Hawaii.

Christopher Tarantino, instructor and subject matter expert for the NDPTC, said this class teaches how to best utilize all forms of social communication whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or others.

"How to cut through that noise and find the signal," Tarantino said. "Find the person calling for help. Find the person who needs our services, and so I think that is the biggest focus here."

Tarantino said while many feel social media can be very negative, its use to help inform a large group of people is vital.

"So we focus this class on social media usage before, during, and after natural disasters, but the application can be in a variety of different things," Tarantino said. "It could be for an active shooter event, a terrorist event."

After the class, Tarantino said he hopes everyone takes away something new whether that be from him or other students in the room.

The other goal is to learn a way to better help the public through social media.

The Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management at A-State helped organize the class.

"It's free training that's offered at no charge to the participants which is awesome," Tarantino said.

For information on how to get the class for your organization visit ndptc.hawaii.edu.

Another class is planned for Friday focusing on weather events on university campuses.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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