CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Social media giant Meta hosted a disaster preparedness event in Shreveport on Friday to connect with community partners about how to best use the company’s social media platforms to help people during disasters.

As hurricane season kicks off, Meta is looking to share how it can help play a role in Louisiana disaster response.

“I can’t think of a community that has become more famous worldwide for being resilient in the wake of natural disasters. So I think this is a community that we find really important to invest in,” said Carly Eason, Meta Politics and Government Outreach Manager for the Southeast.

Meta partnered with the Bossier Chamber of Commerce to host the Prepare and Respond: Meta Disaster Resilience Summit held inside the Shreveport Aquarium’s event center. Among those attending were key players from the community, including public leaders, the sheriff’s office, SWEPCO, and small businesses.

“We’re here to talk about how they can leverage our platform like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp to help communicate to their audiences and respond to those disasters,” Eason said.

Eason says social media can connect people with their loved ones and first responders during extreme weather events and power outages.

“If your power goes out but you have your smartphone, you can check in on Instagram or Facebook with your local police department and find out about evacuation orders and when it’s time to leave.”

She said this role of Facebook and Instagram can be the most impactful for people.

“Content and programming like this really puts the power in the hands of our local community partners to really be reliable sources on the platform to get reliable information out to their communities.”

This was also the first in-person preparedness meeting since the pandemic.