The "crisis informatics" (Google search) term is new to me, but the research I've been able to find under that term is familiar. Faced with an unexpected crisis situation that is bigger than what the mainstream media and existing government organizations can easily manage the news flow from, how do communities response in emergency situations with social media and with ad hoc emergency response systems?
Without going into lots of detail I do want to share one recent paper that caught my eye, via Leysia Palen: Backchannels on the Front Lines: Emergent Uses of Social Media in the 2007 Southern California Wildfires.
The term "crisis informatics" is credited to Christine Hagar (2006). If you do a proper retrospective look at the phenomenon without that term, you unearth previous discussion of the use of the net for responses in the Kobe and Northridge earthquakes, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and various power outages and ice storms. A proper retrospective bibliography awaits someone else's project.