Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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SnowedOut Atlanta: Examining digital emergence on facebook during a crisis

Abstract Individuals in emergencies form spontaneous, emergent groups to respond and recover. With the rise of social media use in crises, academics and professionals must be aware of how groups digitally coordinate emergent response efforts. This paper examines digital emergence through the case of SnowedOut Atlanta, a Facebook group formed during the 2014 ice storms in Atlanta. The posts and actions of the group members are in line with those of traditional emergent groups. For example, group members shared informational, material, and emotional support. The findings also provide implications for practitioners and insight into the communication of such groups. In particular, emergency managers have an opportunity to seek out and partner with these types of groups in future similar events.

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