Social Media and Disaster Related Events for Animal Shelters

Social Media and Disaster Related Events for Animal Shelters
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-04-07
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Social Media and Disaster Related Events
Unit 2 Transcript: Social Media and Disaster Related Events
Unit 3 Workbook: Social Media and Disaster Related Events
Unit 4 Recording: Social Media and Disaster Related Events

Coordinating efforts amidst disasters and critical events means unexpected turns of events and other variables that emerge that will render decision-making and serving the community more difficult. This gets even trickier when animals are involved. What is social media’s role In managing such events? Angelina Martin shares her experience of leveraging social media for the animal welfare field during emergencies and disasters.

Angelina Martin is the owner of Online Media Solutions, a media agency that helps provide social media solutions and educational webinars for animal shelters. Angelina previously worked with the Sonoma County Services (SCAS) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Specifics of the discussion include:

  • How social media can be utilized during an emergency or disaster as an emergency management tool and as a medium for preparation, education, and information dissemination.
  • Emphasizing the social aspect of social media which highlights the importance of social listening.
  • The local, state, and national partners to work with during a disaster or emergencies.
  • The benefits of using social media during disasters in ensuring the availability of resources, facilitating reunifications, and coordinating additional manpower.
  • The psychology behind people’s motivations and needs during disasters and emergencies.
  • How social media listening and solutions streamlined shelter operations and reunifications.
  • Leveraging social media for both internal and external communication purposes.
    • The crisis communication plan (CCP) which lays out the platforms to use, the information to post, opportunities for social listening, and the timeliness of the updates.
    • The top three platforms to use to facilitate communication.
    • Guidelines in terms of standardized responses, promoting transparency, informing people about lost and found animals, and sending out thank yous.
    • Incidents of communication slip-ups that led to SCAS’ no media policy and vetting process for lost and found animals.
  • How social media is used for information dissemination and updates.
    • Utilizing pinned posts and shareable graphics for greater visibility of critical updates.
    • Conducting social listening to correct misinformation that may be circulating.
    • Shared post guidelines and the recipe for effective information sharing.
    • Recommended tracking system to update shared posts.
  • The importance of posting with a purpose that is congruent to the agency’s goals and needs.
  • The most common needs an agency will have during a critical event and how social media can assist in getting the community, businesses, and other agencies to provide these.
  • Using social media to raise awareness through content that answers frequently asked questions and topics related to critical incident preparedness and management.
  • Points to take into account for reunification efforts in terms of:
    • Securing consent and other considerations when sharing reunification stories and updates.
    • Capturing contact information of people searching for their animals.
    • Expecting the unexpected when it comes to the types of animals that require rescuing, housing, and reunifying.
  • Other CCP considerations in terms of logistics, storage and access to the file, workaround in case of power failure, list of reputable partners, and media policy considerations.

Points clarified during the Q&A segment were about:

  • Differentiating social media reach from engagement.
  • Using Nextdoor as another social media platform.
  • Managing competing information across different social media accounts.
  • The reason for a no media policy.
  • The work dynamics between PIOs and the social media team.
  • Proactive efforts agencies can do through social media before disasters strike.



Other Webinars with this Speaker:


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Animal Welfare webinars on the JCH Platform or

Here to view and register for other upcoming PIO, Social Media and Communications webinars.



Resources & Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Great tips for reuniting pets and families.” — k9bev
  • “Great presentation! I’ve always been interested in that type of work!” — Katlyn
  • “Having a no media policy during disasters, google sheet for intakes that are on socials.” — Krista
  • “Having a clear plan for animal and community disasters.” — Kristen
  • “It all was good.” — Shelby
  • “Everything! Such an important topic!” — Ann





The National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) was formed in 1978 for the express purpose of assisting its members to perform their duties in a professional manner. We believe only carefully selected and properly trained animal control personnel can correct community problems resulting from irresponsible animal ownership. NACA’s purpose is to preserve the Human/Animal Bond by insisting on responsible animal ownership.





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