Examination of how social media can inform the management of volunteers during a flood disaster

Elizabeth N. Sharp*, Holly Carter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This research examines the ways in which social media is used to organize and manage volunteers during a flood. Flooding is currently one of the top risks highlighted within the UK National Risk Register and ways to help those affected need to be explored further. Social media is a valuable tool in disaster management as it enables information to be passed quickly and effectively to its target audience. Through semi-structured interviews with those who have experienced a flood disaster or worked during a flood recovery, we examined the potential role of social media, as well as traditional media, before, during, and in response to a flood. Interviews showed that the use of social media during a flood saved time and reached a larger audience than traditional media outlets (i.e., email, telephone). Social media was reported to be particularly useful for facilitating recruitment and management of volunteers, and for gathering equipment required during the recovery phase of a flood disaster. Our findings demonstrate that social media can play a crucial role in facilitating effective organization and management of volunteers during flood disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12665
JournalJournal of Flood Risk Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Flood Risk Management published by Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • disaster management
  • disaster risk reduction
  • flood defense measures
  • flood mitigation


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