Twitter Use During Hurricane Irma: How the Local Government Agencies Amplify and Attenuate Risk Factors for the Vulnerable Populations
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Science (MS)
NACO controlled Corporate Body
University of North Florida. Department of Communication
Dr. Tulika Varma
Dr. Nataliya Roman
Dr. Margaret Stewart
Dr. John Parmelee
Dr. George Rainbolt
Twitter has become a popular channel for local governments to explore crisis communication during a hurricane. Local governments use Twitter to distribute crisis messages to the public, and are able to amplify or attenuate risk perception. Many factors attribute to individuals’ risk perception including control, choice, children, novelty, and risk-benefit tradeoff. The Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF) provides a guide to understanding the intensifying or weakening of these risk messages. While these crisis messages are directed to the general public, the local governments may be neglecting information for the vulnerable populations. In order to prepare for a hurricane, vulnerable populations need updates from local governments and emergency agencies before, during, and after the hurricane. Relationships among stages of a hurricane, tweet categories, and risk perception were explored. A sample of 1,043 tweets from six Twitter accounts of local governments in Florida were analyzed to provide insight into what type of messages local governments tweet and what risk perceptions local governments emphasize during the stages of Hurricane Irma. Using a Cross-tabulation analysis, researchers analyzed significant differences for stages of a hurricane, tweet categories, and risk perceptions. Findings for this study indicate that results were significant through each stage of the hurricane.
Keywords: Twitter, Hurricane, Risk Factors, SARF, Vulnerable Populations
McCarthy, Elizabeth Ann, "Twitter Use During Hurricane Irma: How the Local Government Agencies Amplify and Attenuate Risk Factors for the Vulnerable Populations" (2018). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 839.