Like many other residents of the Northeast US, I spent the past weekend preparing for Hurricane Irene. We inventoried our food supply (thanks to couponing we had a great stockpile), filled the bathtub, replenished our battery collection, and embraced the media–the social media, that is. Yes, we had The Weather Channel running nonstop in the background, but it was social networking that really kept us engaged with storm developments.
A real-life Irene from Brooklyn, NY felt the effects of the social media rush firsthand, and she eventually “donated” her personal Twitter handle, @irene, to the cause of aggregating and disseminating important storm updates to her slightly misguided followers. A new study conducted by the Red Cross quantifies the important role social media plays during times of disaster. Among the key findings, the study revealed that:
- Internet is the third most popular means of information during emergencies, with nearly 1-in-5 adults turning to Facebook for this reason
- About 24% of the general population would definitely use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate with loved ones during emergencies; that figure increases to 31% among online adults
So how exactly did social media bring us together during this stressful time? For those of you who lost power or otherwise missed it, here’s my roundup of three under-the-radar social media moments that helped connect us during Hurricane Irene: [...]Share