A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (via Facebook)
Back in 2005, after hurricane Katrina shattered the Gulf Coast, I began monitoring several online networks created and cultivated by what I called women virtual volunteers. Though Twitter and Facebook weren't around back then, women were created blogs, list servs, and newsgroups in efforts to provide relief support for victims and survivors of hurricane Katrina. This was the first time I witnessed people gathering across time and space to pull their resources online after a natural disaster. It's important to note that at the time, the nurture-networks I looked at were also created in response to lack of support from the federal government, namely FEMA.
Seven years after hurricane Katrina, the country has yet again been devastated by a natural disaster in the form of hurricane Sandy. People along the east coast, and parts of the midwest, are currently assessing widespread damage as a result of a massive storm surge lasting several hours.
As we saw during hurricane Katrina, people have taken to social media to help spread the word about damage and to provide resources for victims and survivors of the storm. However, unlike what we saw during Katrina; that is, when social media looked more like Yahoo! news groups and comments sections of blog posts, those directly and indirectly affected by Sandy have taken to popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and even Storify to provide the nation with up-to-date information and online resources. And it's not only traditional journalists and reporters creating these spaces, but also everyday citizens with a cell phone and a wifi connection.
In my continuing efforts to monitor online networks post-Sandy, I've put together a (growing) list of resources that I hope folks will find useful as we begin the arduous process of cleaning up after Sandy. If you have more resources to share, please do so below in the comments section. You may also tweet us @mediamakechange
IMAGES AND STORIES FROM THE STORM
- Red Cross Hurricane app : http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app
- List of currently open Red Cross shelters at: http://www.redcross.org/nss/
- Visit the Red Cross web site: http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
- People should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/contact-family/register-safe-listing
@NotifyNYC on Twitter
- People located in NYC can ‘follow NotifyNYC’ on Twitter, and text 40404 to get @NotifyNYC (http://www.twitter.com/notifyNYC) tweets as text messages.
- Google Crisis map that has good information about Hurricane Sandy as well as shelter information: http://google.org/crisismap/sandy-2012
- A secure, user-friendly web portal that consolidates information about federally funded government assistance to disaster victims, including the ability to apply for FEMA benefits directly online: http://www.disasterassistance.gov
- A list of the emergency management offices in all 50 states plus territories: http://www.fema.gov/regional-operations/state-offices-and-agencies-emergency-management
- The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is the first national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. If you or someone you know has been affected by a disaster and needs immediate assistance, please call this multilingual, crisis support service (available 24/7) at (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text `TalkWithUs' to 66746). Residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters: http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/ toll-free number for information, support, and counseling. You will be connected to the nearest crisis center.
- Also see The Salvation Army's blog with up-to-date information on hurricane Sandy. http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf
- You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to volunteer in your area. http://www.nycservice.org
- Be sure to visit their website BEFORE going to donate blood. Not all centers are open because damage due to the storm. We recommend that you call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org for donor center hours and the latest information. Thank you for your support. http://www.nybc.org/press-release.do?sid0=60&page_id=152&content-id=785
- Delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. http://www.americares.org/
- Provides medical assistance to people affected by disaster. http://www.directrelief.org/