Leveraging Social Media And Emerging Technologies In Domestic Disaster Response Supply Chains And Logistics

Open Access
Dickinson, Markea Cherie
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. John C. Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • Andrea H Tapia, Faculty Reader
  • Supply Chain
  • Humanitarian Relief
  • Social Media
  • Emerging Technologies
The idea of social networks leveraged as a solution to improve visibility stems from the realization that individuals around the world are now interconnected through technology at an unprecedented level. In the purest form, social networks are tools used to facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration, including social media and emerging technologies. This research evaluates how these technologies are being used within disaster relief, in order to explore the potential of social networks in serving as a fabric for visibility and interoperable communications in disaster response supply chains. This thesis features a culmination of unique perspectives formulated through interviewing representatives in each major category of emergency management stakeholders, including Government Emergency Management agencies, Non-Profit Organizations, Military, and Private Sector. A literature review was also conducted for a current state analysis of research in this realm, as well as input from practitioners and experts in technology and disaster relief through interviews. The outcome of this research reveals three key elements that demonstrate the value of social media and emerging technologies; the expeditious flow of bidirectional information to the right person, at the right place, at the right time, and providing a critical tool for responders to aid in decision making. In addition, interview respondents ardently discussed the essential nature of shifting the general perception of these technologies within the realm of disaster response. Through establishing a decision-making framework, this thesis provides suggestions for disaster relief stakeholders seeking to develop a social media and emerging technology strategy.