The Dynamic Role of Social Media during Hurricane #Sandy: An introduction of the STREMII model to weather the storm of the crisis lifecycle

Margaret C. Stewart, University of North Florida
B. G. Wilson


Social media has introduced a key ingredient, and a potentially unfamiliar variable, into the practice of crisis communication. In this paper, the authors critically assess the social media milestones related to Hurricane Sandy according to situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) (Coombs, 2007). Further, we discuss the crisis lifecycle of Hurricane Sandy with regard to the potential implementation of the STREMII model of social media crisis management, a proposed model originated through this research application. This original model develops from lessons and best practices discovered in historical and contemporary cases of social media crises and crisis management. The researchers acknowledge potential limitations and describe steps for further development of the model through research, all the while recognizing the powerful and paradoxical role of social media in the crisis management process. In reflection of Hurricane Sandy, further qualitative and quantitative examinations of crisis events are encouraged to evaluate the STREMII model continually in the dynamic social media climate and across the vast facets of crisis communication.