Social media has changed how we interact with each other daily. And it’s no surprise that more people are choosing to use Twitter and Facebook in emergency situations.

As Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the New Jersey shore and parts of New York – people turned to social media to share images, updates and commentary about the natural disaster.

In case of an emergency, the best thing to do is to still call 911. But there are ways for fire fighters to open the line of communication with the public to help them prepare for a natural disaster.

Think about hosting a social media event – taking questions from citizens about what to do when a natural disaster strikes. A group of first responders in Wisconsin held a live social media event (on Facebook) recently and used it as an opportunity to push out information happening in the community and safety tips.

We know more of you are using social media and want new ideas on how to engage your online community.

What type of feedback have you been receiving from citizens if you are online? How does it help your department in planning?