Emergency center gets social media hub - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Emergency center gets social media hub

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)-- Emergency managers participated in a statewide hurricane drill at the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center.

There was a new addition to the operation Wednesday as the center debuted its digital information support center.

The effort is trying to get more use out of smartphones with connection to social media.

At the operations center there is a social media room full of computers and television monitors, set up to keep workers informed on what's happening.

Workers were trained Wednesday on how to utilize the center in a disaster.

The county brought in people from other county departments familiar with social media to practice using the center during a disaster.

Emergency managers said workers will look at what is trending in our area on Twitter and through Facebook to gather information on what the public is seeing.

Information from the public about what's happening in certain neighborhoods will be transferred to the public information unit as well as other managers.

Once that happens, managers will formulate a response and it will be sent back out on social media to inform the public of their response.

The mayor of the Palm Beach County Commissioners, Steve Abrams, said this is going to be vital in an emergency because everyone uses their phones now.

He said he's seen it help in the aftermath of disasters continuously in other disasters in other areas of the country.

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