Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


intelligence gathering, social media, emergency management


When responding to an emergency, correct and timely information is often the difference between a successful response and a potential disaster. The information that emergency managers in California receive from the public often dictates how agencies respond to emergencies. The emergence of social media has presented several benefits to emergency managers regarding intelligence gathering during the emergency response process. Simultaneously, the emergence of social media has raised several concerns for the stakeholders involved. One major issue involves inaccurate information circulating on social media platforms during ongoing disasters. If emergency managers cannot discern incorrect information from correct information, disaster response may be less effective. Rumors and misinformation tend to circulate before, during, and after emergencies. Although incorrect information circulating on social media cannot be stopped in totality, emergency managers can use cutting-edge technology and strategies to discern and counteract false information. New technologies and intelligence gathering tools can be used as a source of intelligence to relay lifesaving information to the public. Past negative examples of inaccurate information on social media influencing stakeholder decision-making raise the focus of this research: How can emergency management agencies in California leverage the flow of valid information on social media during crisis conditions?