An article co-authored by Gilles MARTIN, one of our associate consultants, and published in Cybergeo European Journal of Geography.
Information given on flash floods in real time should undoubtedly correspond to the citizens needs as well as to the politics and the safety guidelines. To supply this objective, Numerical Social Networks (NSN) and smartphone applications could positively complete the official institutional system, especially by means of the dynamic nature of shared contents, and with the social interactions they support. Nonetheless, even if several countries (United States or Philippines for example) already use these systems to warn the population in case of future floods, and even if the French government launched a specific app the 2016 June 8th (namely SAIP), the French citizens and stakeholders do not always use them during the alert process. This is generally explained by the French protection system on individual data, the lack of validation over information shared by citizens in real time and by the technical locks the official services have to remove. Then this paper aims to address the benefits and limits from the use of NSN and smartphones during flood warnings in France, and it also seeks to identify the place of such systems to perform their utility in short term.