EXERCISE 24: Using Social Media For Crisis Response

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George H. Bressler, Murray E. Jennex, Eric G. Frost

Can populations self-organize a crisis response? This is a field report on the first two efforts in a continuing series of exercises termed Exercise 24 or X24. The first Exercise 24 focused on Southern California, while the second, X24 Europe, focused on the Balkan area of Eastern Europe. These exercises attempted to demonstrate that self-organizing groups can form and respond to a crisis using low-cost social media and other emerging web technologies. Over 10,000 people participated in X24 while X 24 Europe had over 49,000 participants. This paper presents lessons learned and an approach for incorporating social media into crisis response.