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How to Use Social Media for Emergency Preparedness

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and the goal to focus on preparedness planning. Now more than ever is this important for the Army National Guard to highlight emergency preparation efforts as the country has been hit with a few devastating hurricanes. Both Hurricane Lane and Hurricane Florence caused multiple states to issue a State of Emergency and enact the Guard to get involved. As the Guard assists in emergency preparedness efforts and assistance, here are a few suggestions to provide content to your social media audience that will raise awareness.

Prepare Customer Service Responses Ahead of Time

People are confused and scared in times of natural disasters. Expect questions from followers or state residents asking what the Guard is doing to prepare for the emergency, where they will be, and emergency information. Have a list of approved answers to commonly asked questions so you are ready when they come.

Post Original Content Showing Guard Preparation Efforts

People want to know how and when the Guard is getting involved. Whether your State or territory is preparing for an emergency or you are a border state preparing to assist on relief efforts, provide timely original information. Highlight different missions with which the Guard will be involved. This can be a mix of videos and images detailing the numbers (troops, resources, etc.) and activities involved. Share feel good stories in the relief efforts. We want to show how the Guard is on the ground protecting the local communities in times of need.

Collect on the Ground Content

Search DVIDs and obtain raw on-the-ground footage when available highlighting the Guard in action. It’s ok if the footage quality is not overly produced. Raw behind-the-scenes footage works great on social media and really gives followers a true sense of what it’s like on the scene.

Use Relevant Hashtags

#HurricaneFlorence was popular in the past week. Research which hashtags are trending for the emergency and use them in your content. Remember to use a Guard specific hashtag as well, which you can find in this newsletter,