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Integrating Social Media Monitoring Into Public Health Emergency Response Operations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 May 2016

Tamer A. Hadi*
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response, New York, New York.
Keren Fleshler
Consumer Reports, Yonkers, New York.
Correspondence and reprint requests to Tamer A Hadi, MS, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response, 42-09 28th Street, 6th Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101-4132 (e-mail:


Social media monitoring for public health emergency response and recovery is an essential response capability for any health department. The value of social media for emergency response lies not only in the capacity to rapidly communicate official and critical incident information, but as a rich source of incoming data that can be gathered to inform leadership decision-making. Social media monitoring is a function that can be formally integrated into the Incident Command System of any response agency. The approach to planning and required resources, such as staffing, logistics, and technology, is flexible and adaptable based on the needs of the agency and size and scope of the emergency. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has successfully used its Social Media Monitoring Team during public health emergency responses and planned events including major Ebola and Legionnaires’ disease responses. The concepts and implementations described can be applied by any agency, large or small, interested in building a social media monitoring capacity. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 6)

Concepts in Disaster Medicine
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2016 

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