Hurricane Sandy (or otherwise known as the “Frankenstorm”) is hitting states like NY, NJ, VA, WV, and MA pretty hard this week with its devastating winds and rain that has the possibility to transform into snow in some locations around the area. Many have discussed the previous events that happened just last year with Hurricane Irene and how this impacted the Northeast part of the US.
One of the things we have seen so far with this hurricane is the huge presence of social media to get the messages across to impacted audience members in each of these various states.
Here are some additional resources you may want to look at to follow what is going on with Hurricane Sandy:
- Kyoo: The social media firm has established a Kyoo channel where people can follow various aspects of the storm through a centralized location dashboard. There is even an opportunity to share your updated directly to others that are following the storm.
- Google Crisis Map for Hurricane Sandy: Like the Japanese Tsunami in 2011 and even Hurricane Irene, Google has launched their own map to follow Hurricane Sandy through their Crisis Map Service according to Mashable.
- Interactive Maps: Interactive Maps have been created so people and others can follow what is going on based on geolocation via social media. This allows people to look for social media activity based on location, which can be very helpful for emergency responders and crisis communication professionals.
- Following appropriate Twitter usernames nationally and locally: Here is a list of the main organizations you would want to make sure to follow on Twitter like FEMA, NASA, and the American Red Cross. Also, make sure you know the local agencies that are on Twitter so they can give you local updates as well.
- #SMEM and #SMEMChat: Leading crisis and emergency managers and responders are keeping everyone updated via Twitter about the latest updates, information, and steps people need to take in order to be prepared for the hurricane. You can follow the chat with the associated hashtags or view some of their recorded Twitter conversations here.
- Know best practices for how to communicate via social media: USAAhas this great post highlighting some good points to keep in mind when using social media in a disaster situation. Also, follow the Tweak the Tweet app showcasing not only what main hastags to follow (ex. #Sandy), but also how to communicate with others to let them know what they need to do to make sure their messages get across to the right organizations and agencies involved.
- Emergency Mobile Apps: If you have power, you want to make sure to download these emergency apps before Hurricane Sandy hits. American Red Cross and Hurricane iTracker are just a few listed here from Mashable.
In summary, what we are seeing with Hurricane Sandy compared to other natural disasters is the seamless integration and use of social media consistently not only across multiple platforms, but the agencies are working together to make sure everyone is using the same hashtag, etc. However, we have to still keep in mind that not everyone uses social media still – even in 2012 – so we have to make sure to still use traditional forms of communication as well.
My thoughts and prayers go out to my family and friends who are in the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Stay safe and be careful!
Hope you all have a great day.