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People across the globe are adopting social media as a means of communication and publication at a rapid rate. With growing numbers, social networks are rich with real-time information on events, topics and trends that can be extremely valuable to many organizations. Beyond simply a means of broadcasting, many communities, businesses and organizations are looking to social media as a source for data that will help improve situational and operational intelligence to successfully manage incidents across the entire lifecycle of the event. This whitepaper explores social media’s evolution, how it is shaping communication and improving our situational awareness, along with ways to leverage it in an emergency management environment.