Social media has given people unprecedented access to real-time news, but it is increasingly difficult to skim the truth off the number of contents that are generated and shared online. That’s why the idea of using social platforms to support disaster relief teams when providing aid and saving lives may sound odd, if not dangerous.

However, a team of researchers from the Pennsylvania State University studied how Twitter data can be leveraged to identify disaster-related events and generate highly accurate, real-time summaries to guide response activities. The group collected more than 2.5 million tweets posted during three major events – the 2014 typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines, the 2014 flood in Pakistan, and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Researchers trained a machine learning system to categorise discussion topics and wrote an algorithm to help response staff prioritise their activities and onsite intervention.

“The best source to get timely information during a disaster is social media, particularly microblogs like Twitter,” said Prasenjit Mitra, associate dean for research in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and a contributor to the study. “Newspapers have yet to print and blogs have yet to publish, so Twitter allows for a near real-time view of an event from those impacted by it.”

Twitter posts and social media data are among the sources monitored by Emergency Response Director by KRIU (ERD Powered BY KRIU), our new solution for Crisis and Business Continuity managers. Thanks to a powerful software engine, it supports the timely detection of possible disasters and adverse events that might impact a company, its assets and business operations.

The solution automatically collects and aggregates information from authorities, institutional bodies, news agencies, and other relevant sources including social media, returning reliable alerts for crisis management teams. Fake crises filters are integrated, as well as geo-localisation features to position events on customised maps.

By providing a quiet and familiar software environment to work in, ERD Powered BY KRIU contributes to streamline internal communications, track tasks execution, improve the overall quality and speed of crisis response.

If you are interested in learning more about ERD Powered BY KRIU, don’t hesitate to contact our team for further information.