Twitter Narratives During Hurricane Matthew: Evaluation of Immediate Disaster Stages
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The objective of this thesis is to investigate the effectiveness of foundational disaster literature using a contemporary data platform. Due to the recency of social media over the last decade, novel opportunities now exist to study disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation through in-situ accounts. The author characterizes immediate disaster stages based upon overarching themes identified by Twitter users impacted by Hurricane Matthew in Savannah, Georgia. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the author identifies the frequency of tweets within each immediate disaster stage, as well as the context of each tweet. In addition, the author uses individual social media narratives to gauge the resident's story through the duration of Hurricane Matthew. The author's findings suggest the continuing effectiveness of foundational disaster literature through both quantities and qualitative methods. Results emphasize prior studies that address residents' narratives during a disaster event. The further incorporation of social media proves to be an additional outlet for research in the meteorological field.
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