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Online and Mobile Communications for Emergencies (SOTERIA)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Feb 28, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The SOTERIA Project aims to research and develop recommendations and an associated toolbox that leverage the positive impact of social media in emergencies, enabling public safety organisations (PSOs) and citizens using new mobile and online social media technologies to communicate before, during and after an emergency event, and exchange critical information for the PSOs' intervention in emergency, law enforcement and medical assistance situations.Empowered by the new mobile phones with cameras, text messaging and internet-based applications connecting to social media, citizens expect PSOs to use the same technologies. However, this is not the case. SOTERIA innovates the approach to the dynamics between PSOs and citizens in emergencies, allowing (i) the understanding of the impact social media entails in emergency management systems; (ii) the use of all communication channels in emergency situations, including social media, to the benefit of PSOs and citizens, (iii) the exploitation of mobile platforms’ ubiquity to locate and effectively communicate with citizens in distress and (iv) the leverage of PSOs’ levels of shared awareness and performance, benefiting from citizens’ social media information.Joining companies, universities, research laboratories and a wide community of expert end-users across Europe and beyond, the SOTERIA Consortium is one of the Project’s strengths, having solid competences and experience developing research and development projects. Its ambitious goal is to create recommendations and a professional SOTERIA emergency response toolbox that, respecting the organisational culture of emergency services and the European Union's legislation and concerns on privacy, and considering the related human and technological dimensions, enables PSOs to understand the benefits of social media in emergencies and to gradually adopt these technologies in their daily activities, assisting in the safeguard of citizens in emergency and crisis situations.
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