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      Emergency Management joins social media outlets

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- From tweets to facebook updates and youtube videos, the state's emergency management division is jumping on the social media wave.

      SCEMD is utilizing social media outlets to dispense life saving information to the public and elicit feedback about day to day operations.

      This is another tool in our toolbelt," says Derrec Becker, SCEMD. "If there avenues that cost the agency and taxpayers nothing, help reach someone who normally wouldn't get a message about an impending emergency then we've done our jobs. We've saved that additional life."

      The overall goal is to expand the number of eyes and pageviews to the agency's homepage.

      A quick trip to SCEMD's facebook page features up-to-the-second breaking scene video and photos. While the number of friends, followers and subscribers suprises Becker, he anticipates more South Carolinians will sign-up during an actual emergency.

      Another feature is that SCEMD hopes to grow is community feedback, especially during emergencies.

      "The beauty of being able to expand from just our main website to twitter, facebook and youtube is we have three additional websites and it's absolutely free," says Becker. "It's costing the taxpayers no money."

      The annual hurricane preparedness guide is currently available through the agency's home page.

      Becker reminds residents that the most important message is preparation.

      "It's never too early to be prepared, but it can be too late," says Becker.