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Social Media’s Role in the Alberta Flooding

July 2, 2013

Something we don’t talk about often enough is the use of social media in emergency situations. Social Media can be used for communication of all kinds, during the good times and the bad times. Social networks can be used to communicate with your customers as well as with your employees. Every company should have an entire emergency plan in place, and social media should be part of that plan.

Rather than waiting to read something in the newspaper the next day, publication is now instant. Speed of reply and posting is important. In emergency situations, it can be okay to skip the usual processes where your tweets or posts have to go through a number of layers and approval processes.  Provide a staff member or multiple staff members with  the authority to tweet and post as necessary when it comes to unique and emergency situations. Just make sure the time is taken to proofread. 😉

We have some great success stories to share about how social media was used during the Alberta flooding. I had friends who were traveling in Alberta and trying to get back to their home in Saskatchewan checking Twitter for updates on road and bridge closures almost like an interactive map. Without it they may not have been able to get their family and 6 month old home safe.

Social Media was used for a variety of reasons during the Alberta floods, including  communicating road closures, letting people know whether or not  drinking water was safe, and informing people about evacuated areas, power outages, volunteer opportunities, latest flood news, and more! Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi (@Nenshi) did an AMAZING job communicating with the residents of Calgary via Twitter at all hours!


Nenshi Boil Water


Calgary Stampede also did a great job of communicating what was going on with the flooded Stampede Grounds as well as keeping their employees up to date with what was happening.

Stampede - Staff

Enmax did a great job of keeping customers up to date with power outages. Honourable mentions also go to the City of Calgary, Calgary Police, and 511.


City of Calgary

Calgary Police

Calgary Police


People all across Alberta have been offering help and asking for help via Kijiji, Facebook, and Twitter. Photos of the flood have been shared on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Calgary restaurants also stepped in to help out.




So many people have lost everything! The outpour of help has been tear jerking and the creativity that companies and entrepreneurs have used to help others is amazing. Photographers, such as Elizabeth’s Everlasting Photography, have offered to take family photos for free to create new memories for those who have lost all of their family photos.

The flood happened right around the same time when many schools were about to celebrate graduations and proms. Lots of prom dresses are being donated to ensure these girls still have beautiful dresses to wear as theirs have been lost in the floods. The Facebook Page is called Grad Dresses for YYC flood victims. Hairstylists and makeup artists are also offering their services on this Facebook page.

Hundreds of pets have filled kennels and shelters since the Alberta flooding. Photos of pets are being posted on the Facebook pages for Foothills Pet Resort & Spaw and Heaven Can Wait. Please share these photos with any family or friends still missing their furry family members.

If you live in or around Calgary and would like to help, you can sign up to volunteer on the YYC Helps website. They have over 12,000 volunteers already signed up and ready to help. The form also asks if you have any special machinery or trade skills.

If you are outside of the Calgary area or province of Alberta, please make a donation. Even if you can spare $20, you can purchase a flood shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to the Red Cross.

Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund

Red Cross to help those affected by the Floods in Calgary

Hell or High Water

To help support flood victims, Calgary’s Brett Wilson donated $1 (up to $50,000) to flood victims in Southern Alberta every time that the hashtag  #OMGP was used.


Here are some hashtags you can use to read more about the flooding in Calgary, Alberta: #CalgaryFlood2013,  #yycflood, #calgarystrong, #Stampede101, #yychelps, #abflood, #wearecalgary, #yyccleanup, #yycstrong, #togetheryyc, #OMPG, #yycfloodrelief, and #nap4nenshi to name a few.

Do Good

Facebook Pages and Groups related to the floods:

You Tube:

Are you lucky enough to have an office that’s dry with power?  You can use this map to try and route out a way to avoid sinkholes and road construction.

Tell us – how has social media helped you or your company during a crisis? If you have any questions, please ask away in the comments below!

Need help with setting up and managing your social media accounts? Contact us for your FREE social media services quote today!

Unit next time,

Miss Mediosa – Social Media Management

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