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Emergency tweets being tried in Brunswick County

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Brunswick County Emergency Services have found a new way to communicate with the public; they are taking advantage of the social new networking site, Twitter.

Emergency Services just opened an account Monday, so it’s more of an experiment, but the goal is to use Twitter as another outlet to inform the public in emergency situations.

“Studies are showing that social networking is the way to get the message out to a certain age population, and so we want to do everything we can to get as much information out to as wide of an area as we can,” said Emergency Services Deputy Director Scott Garner.

Brunswick County already has several alert systems in place. Emergency Services used a reverse 9-1-1 system called firstcall.net to alert citizens of dangerous situations, such as mandatory evacuations, or crime alerts.

The Sheriff’s Department uses citizenobserver.com to inform residents of hazardous weather, bad traffic conditions, and crimes.

Twitter is another way to get the word out.

County resident David Shepherd isn’t convinced the system will catch on. “When you hear about Twitter, it’s more densely-populated areas and this area’s probably not going to be. I’m sure there’s people that use twitter, but I don’t think it’s going to be as big a deal as maybe the emergency services people think it’s going to be; hopefully it may be.”

Shallotte Fire Chief Paul Dunwell said during an emergency situation, communication is key, and even if Twitter doesn’t catch, it can’t hurt. “I think it’s definitely a benefit to folks, they need to open-minded about it and at least give it a try.”

Scott Garner and the emergency services team welcome the public’s feedback on this newest form of communication. To send your comments, you can send an e-mail to bcema@brunsco.net, or better yet, send them a “tweet”.

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Story summary

videoBrunswick County Emergency Services have found a new way to communicate with the public; they are taking advantage of the social new networking site, Twitter.

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