Article 5 May 2015

Social networks and the cyclone season. Challenges for the new risk management in the Dominican Republic

In a country such as the Dominican Republic, which has suffered the effects of 74 cyclones during the last 140 years, an average of almost a cyclone every two years, the administration faces a historical opportunity to manage risks in a unique way through virtual environments.

The National Development Strategy of the Caribbean country seeks to efficiently manage risks and minimize casualties in an active way by involving both the community and local governments. Digital Communication, along with education, can significantly contribute to reducing the scope of these risks.

According to the investigations referred to in this article, social networks are putting an end to the traditional barriers of formality within the informative sector. These tools did not exist a few years ago and, when correctly used, they enable us to know the details of risks and meteorological disasters.

The Dominican Republic, a country with over 3 million Facebook accounts and over 1 million Twitter accounts –close to 50% of the population– is facing the great challenge of implementing these new communication means in order to recover as fast as possible from potential negative scenarios, achieving a better approach and using them in the three fields of action that need to be engaged in crisis scenarios: prevention, warning and rapid access to affected communities.

Eduardo Hernández, director of LLORENTE & CUENCA in the Dominican Republic.

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