Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOSTs) are digital volunteers who conduct social media analytics tasks to provide decision-makers in Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) with actionable information during hazard situations. They integrate into EOC structures and use advanced tools to monitor various social media platforms. A case study of the 2021 flood in Wuppertal, Germany found that VOSTs processed data from eight social media platforms and classified it into 23 categories, prioritizing posts that posed a threat to public health and safety. A subsequent survey showed that VOST information expanded situational awareness and ensured people-centered risk and crisis communication. Future research is needed to integrate VOST analysts into decision-making processes in time-critical disaster management.
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