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Emergency Managers Turning To Social Media Ahead Of Isaac

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The explosion of social media will once again be put to the test as Tropical Storm Isaac rolls across the region this weekend. For the younger generation, connecting through social media will keep them informed during and after a storm.

“When I go on my Facebook, I’m following a lot of news, like CBS and meteorologists and stuff,” said student Heather Brice. “They are always posting pictures like every half hour of new tracks and stuff.”

But, many on social media expect information to come to them, instead of seeking it out.

“Not a lot of us watch the news,” said Taylor Miller. “We don’t have time to go home and turn on the TV and if we are, we’re watching MTV.”

That sentiment is forcing emergency management officials to find new ways to get their messages out when tropical systems are threatening.

“This is the first time we’re rolling out full-blown Twitter and Facebook as well as our notification system through e-mails,” said Broward Emergency Manager Chuck Lanza. “Any message that we send out will have to do with preparedness, evacuations, sheltering, stuff that’s easy to understand that people can get the message and act upon it pretty quickly.

In Broward County, workers at the Emergency Operation Center will closely monitor Twitter and Facebook to see what people want to know.

“As they start seeing trends,” explained Lanza, “if people start saying, ‘I’m not sure what to do about, this certain item,’ we will address that in our next news conference and we’ll make sure we send it out on Twitter and Facebook.”

Click below for the respective links to Twitter and Facebook feeds in your county:

>> Visit the CBS4 Tropics Page for an interactive Tropical Tracker, the newest computer model tracks and more.

>> Here’s how to use the CBS4 site to prepare for and monitor Isaac:

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