Tag Archives: social media

Social Media at a disaster situation

4 Nov

Hurricane Sandy has left traces of damages in the East coast. Many people were evacuated and have lost their property. My friend’s house was flooded above the floorboards and his car was completely destroyed, while people in Eugene were worrying about less rain this year.
Even though people have prepared for a hurricane this time using lessoned learned at the hurricane Irene last year, the East coast, especially New York City and New Jersey have got huge damage physically and economically.

 (By AndrewJohn2011)

From Journalistic perspective, social media seemed to play an important role in the severe situation in the East coast.

“….there were also tweets from ordinary people relaying very important information about their blocks, their neighborhoods, their boroughs. I knew what was happening to many of my friends as far away as the District of Columbia and as close as the guy up the block. There is no more important news than that” (Carr).

As Carr mentioned, Twitter is useful source for people to collect and share information. Those information can save your life sometime.

You can see the effectiveness of social media in the case of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake in March 3. 2011. The earthquake was magnitude 9.03, which was the largest earthquake has ever hit Japan. People were tweeting where they are, what conditions the towns were, when the next tsunami is expected to come, where to go to avoid the tsunamis, and all kinds of information. Many people could avoid the tsunami because of the tweets. Even people, who are not in the region, spread other people’s information to help someone facing to the hard situation. All of these information were much faster than broadcasts. Although the information were sometimes unsure if it is true or just rumor, Also, people shared the heart warming story at the disaster to encourage others to live strong. Twitter has tied people tighter and made people united to overcome the difficulty. It was very impressive for me. Since I have been in the U.S. at the time, Twitter and other online source were only tools to know what happened in Japan. Even though people did not know each other, Twitter has definitely connected people tighter than ever.

When people are at the risk of their lives, we do not have time to consider if it is acceptable information for the government or organizations. Sometimes, People just need more and faster information no matter what they are trustable.

Carr, David. “How Hurricane Sandy Slapped the Sarcasm Out of Twitter.” Nytimes.com. Oct 31. 2012. Web. Nov 1. 2012