Social media usage reveals recovery of small businesses after natural hazard events

Robert Eyre, Flavia De Luca*, Filippo Simini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


The challenge of nowcasting the effect of natural hazard events (e.g. earthquakes, floods, hurricanes) on assets, people and society is of primary importance for assessing the ability of such systems to recover from extreme events.Traditional recovery estimates,such as surveys and interviews,are usually costly,time consuming and do not scale. Here we present a methodology to indirectly estimate the post-emergency recovery status (downtime) of small businesses in urban areas looking at their online posting activity on social media. Analysing the time series of posts before and after an event,we quantify the down time of small businesses for three natural hazard events occurred in Nepal, Puerto Rico and Mexico. A convenient and reliable method for now casting the post-emergency recovery status of economic activities could help local governments and decision makers to better target their interventions and distribute the available resources more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1629 (2020)
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


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