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Briony Gray, Mark J. Weal, & David Martin. (2017). Social Media during a Sustained Period of Crisis: The Case of the UK Storms. In eds Aurélie Montarnal Matthieu Lauras Chihab Hanachi F. B. Tina Comes (Ed.), Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response And Management (pp. 633–644). Albi, France: Iscram.
Abstract: This paper analyses the social media communications surrounding the 2015 – 2016 series of winter storms in the UK. Three storms were selected for analysis over a sustained period of time; these were storms Desmond, Eva and Frank which made landfall within quick succession of one another. In this case study we examine communications relating to multiple hazards which include flooding, evacuation and weather warnings using mainstream media content such as news stories, and online content such as Twitter data. Using a mixed method approach of content analysis combined with the application of a conceptual framework, we present (i.) the network of emergency responders managing events, (ii.) an analysis of crisis communications over time, and (iii.) highlight the barriers posed to effective social media communications during multi-hazard disasters. We conclude by assessing how these barriers may be lessened during prolonged periods of crisis.