Use of Social Media in case of Disaster


September 1 is National Disaster Prevention Day in Japan and various related events took place all over Japan around the date also this year.

Japan is always subject to sudden disasters. Fire or earthquake drills take place from time to time all year around. But today’s topic features on “social media disaster drill” which was held by Yahoo, Twitter Japan, Mori Building, J-WAVE in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on 31 Aug. This unique approach was a hands-on experience to learn how to use the social media at the time of disaster. It was the social media which took a critical role as a communication tool when mobile phones or emails were out of use at the time of Great East Japan Earthquake.

We live in the information society and it is the key how to handle the massive amount of information at the time of disasters too; whether the information is correct, how to infer certain type of information to your own particular circumstance at a particular moment. Otherwise you might get involved in a secondary disaster or spread incorrect information which we all have to avoid.

It was a hot day as usual in Tokyo but about the total number of 100 students or families who had applied in advance gathered together with a smart phone or a tablet terminator. The drill was held on the assumption that the tourists who were visiting in Minato Ward came across with the earthquake which hit directly underneath the capital city. The participants trying to have a good command of spot news application provided by Yahoo and official Twitter of Minato Ward headed for a shelter.

The participants learned to tweet to confirm their safety by using the hash tag or to share information on dangerous spots with other participants or those who were assumed not affected. They were also trained to get correct information on their shelter without getting swayed by disinformation.

During the lecture which followed the drill, the information needs to be checked if it is from verified account or is provided with location info or with pictures. The key is to provide as detailed information as possible to avoid unwanted confusion. Some participants commented; the use of social media is very useful if one has know-how or when the smart phone has a GPS function on it consumes battery faster than usual and it is wise to have a spare mobile battery.


It can be said that the drill characterizes our society today. Those who know how to handle the information are able to survive.


Source: web R25


This is JAPAN Style!