Tech Talk: Social Media and Sandy

Social media isn’t going anywhere. As social media changes the world we live in, disaster responders are finding ways to use it to improve emergency response. The Red Cross is using social media’s ability to disseminate updated information in real-time in their response to Hurricane Sandy.

Twitter recently announced that it had tracked 20 million tweets with the terms “Sandy” or “hurricane” between October 27 and November 1.

According to Twitter, tweets mentioning the Red Cross also increased 30 times the normal amount! On Monday evening around 9 pm, Twitter mobile usage in New York also peaked, serving at times as a vital source of information for affected residents.

Facebook has seen an increase in usage as well, with discussion of Hurricane Sandy ranking an 8.34 on the “Talk Meter” which measures overall discussion of an event. By way of comparison, this year’s Superbowl ranked just slightly above at 8.62 and the Presidential Debate rang in at 8.18 on the scale, making Hurricane Sandy the second most talked about event on Facebook this year by October 30th. According to Facebook, the term “we are okay” was the most popular term used by Facebook users in the U.S. as people turned to social media to let their loved ones know they are safe.

The American Red Cross is using its social channels to share the locations of mobile food trucks and relief supplies and digital volunteers are working hard to respond to questions about finding a shelter or food truck. Since many in New York and New Jersey are still without power in their homes, social media has provided a platform to reach people who are in need of important information.

3 Responses

  1. I was not impressed when tweeting out about donating to the Red Cross and asking for folks to retweet, when out of the blue, twitter, would not let me tweet anymore. I maybe tweeted out 40 before a message from twitter came up saying, ” You have reached your maximum tweets for now, try again in a couple of hours.” I tried later and again the same stupid message appeared. I pray this did not effect the donations. Shame on twitter for putting a limit on tweets! Would also like to say a huge Thank you, to some folks who are getting very little credit. The Linemen & Women, who are going to the areas effected by Sandy, from all over the USA and Canada. It’s a hard life, tough on families of these folks, and usually a very thankless job. Kudos, also to all the ordinary people, in the areas effected, who are doing most Extraordinary things, to assist neighbours and strangers with what ever they have to give…. It’s time like these we are reminded, we are all from running the same race. The Human Race. Blessing to all those who’s lives were lost. The ones left to rebuild and all those who are going above and beyond to help show their support. Blessing to all the Red Cross Volunteers and organization, for always being there, where disasters strike.

  2. I pay a visit everyday a few blogs and sites to read articles or reviews, but this website presents quality based content.

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