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Tornado Victims Use Social Media To Find Resources06:19
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The world is getting used to watching disasters unfold in real-time. For example, hand-held videos from the Japanese earthquake lit up the web minutes after the ground stopped shaking. And in Massachusetts Wednesday, social media became an instant clearinghouse for news and information about the tornadoes that hit the state, as the massive storms were making their way east.

Family members used Twitter to tell people they were OK. Facebook pages popped up to help residents exchange essential information.

But the chatter wasn't just between friends and family. Some town officials in Central Massachusetts say they're finding Facebook to be one of the fastest and most effective ways to spread official information, and to correct fast-moving misinformation, on the disaster response.

The town of Monson, Mass. has its own page called "Monson Tornado Watch 2011." A High School senior — Laura Sauriol — created it . But one of the page's most frequent posters is Monson's Emergency Response Director Kathleen Norbut, who was supposed to be on vacation in Florida.

Guests:

  • Kathleen Norbut, director, Emergency Response, Monson, Mass.
  • Jeremy Bernfeld, web producer, wbur.org

Emergency Response Facebook Pages:

This segment aired on June 2, 2011.

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