County surveys social media flood response |

County surveys social media flood response

Staff Reports
A tweet from the Nevada Highway Patrol during the February flooding.

When high water closed Cradlebaugh Bridge in northern Carson Valley in January and February, many Western Nevada residents learned about it on Facebook or Twitter.

Douglas County Communications and Public Information is researching social media messages disseminated by local governments in Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Alpine counties as well as Carson City through social media during the January and February flooding events. The department is seeking public feedback through a quick survey of residents in those counties.

“Many citizens commute between Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Alpine counties to work in Carson City,” said Public Information Officer Melissa Blosser. “We want to know how we can help with communication on social media as a region and improve in preparation for possible spring flooding or future incidents.”

As a result of road closures during the flooding incidents, unsafe driving conditions and severe weather, many residents began to search for information about the safety of their commute on social media. This project will document any inconsistencies posted through social media between different local governments.

Inconsistencies could justify the need for a regional crowdsourcing viewer. Crowdsourcing allows for multiple publishers to supply data to an online dashboard, map or program in real time. A regional crowdsourcing viewer would possibly allow local public information officers, emergency managers and field operations to collaborate data in real time to ensure consistent messaging via social media to the public.

The flood events led the State of Nevada to declare a state of emergency. Gov. Brian Sandoval requested the federal declaration for Washoe, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties as well as Carson City, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.

The survey is short and can be viewed at