Japanese Trying Out Twitter As Emergency Broadcast System

Do you check online when there’s an emergency? If so, where do you go first?

In Japan, they’re testing out using social media, particularly Twitter, to keep folks informed. And it seems like a pretty smart way to go!

The Next Web reports that “Twitter, Yahoo Japan and domestic real estate firm Mori clubbed together to test the potential of mobile apps and the microblogging platform in disaster situations. . . . 100 volunteers from Tokyo’s Rappongi district were selected to take part in a drill that simulated a major earthquake.”

Twitter is already a popular method for sharing information about earthquakes and tremors in the Japanese capital city. The country is subject to a large number of earthquakes and, in response, a dedicated quake bot — @earthquake_jp – has emerged, and it is closing in on 1 million followers.

The drill required frequently checking Twitter updates issued by Mori Building on appropriate evacuation routes and also tweeting on the whereabouts of any injured people encountered on the way.

The whole purpose of having something set in place, of course, is to have a way to get correct and timely info out to folks affected by these emergency situations. When a disaster strikes, bad info can be deadly.

Do you think this could work where you live?

(Emergency image from Shutterstock)