Guidance for Verifying Sources of Emergency Information Online

laptop with internet icon and magnifying glass

Knowing how to find and recognize valid information during an emergency is critical, but it can also be a challenge, especially when social media changes so rapidly. An article in a recent bulletin of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management offered some helpful tips for verifying sources of information on Twitter:

  • Check the spelling of the agency name, location and when the account was created.
  • Click the blue checkmark* on Twitter profiles to see why it’s verified. 
  • Check a Twitter account’s Followers and Following lists. Do other government agencies and officials follow the profile? Do news media agencies follow the profile?
  • Check multiple sources to verify emergency information.
  • Check official government agency websites.
  • Check what the agency posted on other social media platforms.
  • Check local news media sources.
  • If you suspect an imposter or false information, report it to Twitter.

The best way to verify official government social media profiles is to search for the agency website with a web browser. Most government websites provide links to their social media. The web address should match the link in the profile and be a trusted domain like “.gov.”

Read the article in the OEM Weekly Watch bulletin.

*Since the publication of this article, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that checkmark “verification” badges in additional colors will shortly be introduced.

Earthquake Insurance & Preparedness Video: Now with ASL!

Excerpt of the video, showing quick-draw illustrations and ASL translator.

CREW, with our partner CUSEC, produced a 3-minute quick-draw video that can be used in public preparedness campaigns to help educate people about earthquake insurance and other steps they can take to prepare financially for earthquakes. We’re pleased to announce that this video is now available with an American Sign Language (ASL) translation, curtesy of FEMA Region 10.

The new ASL version is part of a suite of videos that you can view, share, and download for free: Incorporate them into your preparedness outreach messages to help spread the word about what people can do today to improve the strength and speed of their recovery after a damaging earthquake.

All of the videos are available in both English and Spanish, with closed captioning: