Social media helps out as Hurricane Sandy approaches

Oct 29, 2012
Kathy Florczyk's dog Casey barks as he sits in a kennel cage within the hallway of Cape Henlopen High School which is being used as a Red Cross shelter in Lewes, Delaware, after his owner was evacuated from her home due to Hurricane Sandy's eminent landfall in the area.

Locating the nearest emergency shelter or chatting live with forecasters—social networks were abuzz with the latest news, tips and reassurance Sunday as Americans hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy.

The massive storm, which has already killed at least 66 people in the Caribbean, is expected to pummel large swathes of the US East Coast, leading authorities to order evacuations and halt public transport in some areas.

On , #Sandy was one of the top trending topics in cities and areas on the predicted pathway of the storm as nervous residents looked for the latest news and posted links to useful websites on how to stay safe.

set up an interactive map that tracks the path of the storm, provides real-time precipitation figures in areas already hit by the outer edges of Sandy and locates the user's nearest active emergency shelter.

The map also enables people to locate webcams already set up in affected areas to watch as the storm unfolds, as well as videos posted on showing the situation in various locations, including images of choppy seas or flooding.

AccuWeather.com, the weather forecast website, set up a Google+ Hangout—a group video chat—inviting netizens to join and get their questions about the hurricane answered in real time by their .

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, took down their paywalls to enable people to get storm updates for free.

"Run riot! Read everything!", one Twitter user joked, although the Wall Street Journal still had its paywall up for other stories not related to the storm.

One netizen on Twitter posted a link to the website of animal welfare group ASPCA, which told concerned pet owners how to prepare their animals for the upcoming storm.

Smartphone users were also able to download applications to help them keep informed about the storm.

The American Red Cross, for instance, provided an app giving the latest information, a check-list of things to have stored in the house, and even a quiz on hurricanes to while away the hours.

On Facebook, meanwhile, a community page set up for the hurricane, which includes graphics illustrating Sandy's wind speed or "threat index", had already garnered thousands of 'likes.'

But for all the concern on social networks, many netizens also lightened the atmosphere with some humor and funny pictures.

On Tumblr, the blogging platform, one person posted a picture of a bottle of red wine with the legend "Might as well post up for Sandy #sandy #hurricane #letsdrink."

Explore further: Lions Gate partners with online outfit RocketJump

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA sees Tropical Storm Sandy approaching Jamaica

Oct 24, 2012

NASA satellites are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Sandy in visible and infrared light as it approaches Jamaica. Sandy is now responsible for hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches from Jamaica ...

NASA sees power in Hurricane Sandy moving toward Bahamas

Oct 25, 2012

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Sandy as it was moving over eastern Cuba early on Oct. 25. The AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of Sandy that showed a large area of very high, cold cloud tops indicating ...

Hybrid of Sandy, winter storm threatens East Coast

Oct 25, 2012

(AP)—Much of the U.S. East Coast has a good chance of getting blasted by gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe even snow early next week by an unusual hybrid of hurricane and winter storm, federal ...

Phone companies prepare for Sandy

Oct 29, 2012

(AP)—Phone companies on the eastern seaboard are preparing Monday for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy by topping up fuel for backup generators and lining up disaster recovery trailers to move into flooded areas after the ...

Recommended for you

Instagram photo-sharing service goes down

Apr 12, 2014

Popular photo-sharing site Instagram was not working Saturday, as frustrated users quickly turned to social network Twitter and other web sites to share their complaints.

Authors Guild asks US court to rule against Google

Apr 11, 2014

The Authors Guild says that Google Inc. is stealing business from retailers and has asked a New York federal appeals court to find that the Internet giant is violating copyright laws with its massive book digitization project.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Intel reports lower 1Q net income, higher revenue

Intel's earnings fell in the first three months of the year amid a continued slump in the worldwide PC market, but revenue grew slightly because of solid demand for tablet processors and its data center services.

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...