Social Media apparently was a topic of conversation at this spring's National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.
We've been seeing local TV stations use Facebook and Twitter over the past couple of years to communicate with viewers as normal weather and news events hits the area. Viewers post or tweet pictures of (thunder)storm damage or flooding and they are posted on the station's website. More and more the photos and video are being used on air. Over Memorial Day weekend, our local ABC affiliate http://www.abcactionnews.com used smartphone video sent by an eyewitness to have actual video footage of a shooting and subsequent police investigation within minutes of the event happening.
The uniqueness here is not the user video but the immediacy of the content availability. That's where social media can play a very important role in a tropical event. Citizen-provided photos, video or just simple updates could save lives and at worst, provide real-time locally focused updates for media to re-post to their larger audiences of followers.
I'm hoping the media has dedicated resources at the ready with the right platforms and tools to be able to take advantage of this information and share quickly and appropriately to their community.
Here's a good article from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune last week covering how emergency managers and other officials are planning to use social media this season and some of the conversation from the Conference.