Bottled Water? Check.
First aid kit? Check.
Facebook and Twitter… wait… what?
Last year the Northeastern US was surprised by a Halloween blizzard, and this year we have a festive little hurricane dubbed “Frankenstorm” on the way to pay us a visit. As with any type of severe weather, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. (For a complete emercency list, click HERE.) But how often do you see “Social Media” on this emergency preparedness list?
If this storm is as bad as currently predicted, there is a significant chance of power outages. (Remember last year when some areas were without electricity for over a week?) The aftermath of fallen trees may not only affect power lines, but also phone and internet service as well. If nothing else in your home is working, your mobile device may be your saving grace! After all, we’ve seen the power of social media shine through in Hurricane Irene, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
SO – If you have a smartphone, iPad, or other mobile device, remember to harness the power of social media to keep you connected. You may not have enough battery life to call all of your family and friends, but you can post periodic updates on your safety to Facebook or Twitter to share with everyone in one easy post. (Note: If you don’t have one, you may want to pick up a car charging kit for your mobile device for an alternative way to recharge that battery!)
In addition to posting your own updates, you may want to follow these accounts prior to and during the storm:
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
AMERICAN RED CROSS
Use these as a starter to your “Social Media Hurricane Kit”, and keep looking for others. For example, does your city have a Facebook page or Twitter account? How about your power company or other utilities? Take some time and check today so getting these updates during the storm will be as easy as seeing multiple pics of your friend’s baby and/or their lunch online.
So… if you are in the path of Frankenstorm, what are YOU doing to prepare? Feel free to share your emergency preparedness tips in the comments!