Original Article

The Effects of Social Networking on Disaster Communication Used by the Emergency Medical and Rescue Staff - The Case of the Van Earthquake


  • Ali Ekşi
  • Semra Çelikli
  • Güçlü Selahattin Kıyan

Received Date: 27.03.2013 Accepted Date: 21.06.2013 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2014;13(2):58-61


In this study, the effectiveness and usage of social networking services used by The Emergency Medical & Rescue Staff are discussed in the case of the Van earthquake.

Material and Methods:

Emergency Medical & Rescue Staff working for the Ministry of Health in Republic of Turkey, who served in Van Earthquake Rescue Organization, has been determined as a universe. The questionnaires were prepared, sent, and applied via e-mail to the Emergency Medical & Rescue Staff, communicated by means of e-mail groups related to prehospital emergency care.


In total, 66.5% of participants stated that they had made use of social networking services to get information about the disaster area before going there when they were assigned for duty for the case of the Van earthquake. Participants used social networking services mostly to communicate with their colleagues working at the place of the incident to get information about climate conditions, socio-cultural organisms, and magnitude of the damage in the earthquake area. Also, 69.4% of participants stated that they shared information over the social networking systems related to the disaster area after their duties ended there. The experiences they gained in the disaster area and the risks they faced were the most frequently shared information.


Social networking services have been used by The Emergency Medical & Rescue Staff widely and effectively in disaster communications.

Keywords: Disaster communications, emergency health care, social media, Van earthquake