Natural Disasters Embrace Social Media

In today’s modern age, social media is in the hands of over 1.96 billion people worldwide. When a natural disaster strikes, everyone whips out their phones to record, alert, and remember. Here in Eastern North Carolina we’ve just had a Hurricane come through the area and because of social media, citizens around the area were able to keep up-to-date of road closings and other events. We’ve broken down our top five reasons why social media during natural disasters is important.

Unsafe Roads

The major concern with natural disasters is getting home and being safe as soon as possible. Thanks to social media, people can locate road closings, flooded areas, avoid back-ups from accidents, and even alert others to quick routes home. The local Mayor had his Facebook page constantly updating with road flooding’s during the previous hurricane in Greenville, NC. Social media has given people an outlet outside of the news that can give a citizen a more personalized look into the natural disaster’s effects on the roads.

Note: Please do not tweet, post, snapchat, or text while driving. When you get somewhere safe, then post your road findings.
Example of people posting road closing across the area.

Example of people posting road closing across the area.[/caption]

I Am Safe

Luckily for many, social media is a way to keep in touch with friends and family all across the world. During natural disasters, we can use these mediums to notify people that you were safe. Facebook even has a way to mark yourself safe from the event. During a tornado, hurricane, flood or even a blizzard, letting everyone know that you’re okay can be a big relief for many people. Since social media can be in the palm of your hands, it’s easy to log in and alert your friends and family.

Patrick Jones uses Facebook's option to mark himself save from the Hurricane.
Patrick Jones uses Facebook's option to mark himself safe from the Hurricane.

Power Outages

Having the power go out can be a scary night. Many people are so used to power, electronics, and cell phones that it's hard to prepare for natural disasters, let alone stock-piling water in a tub to be sure to have drinking water. Unfortunately this a reality of natural disasters. With social media, power companies can alert users to power outages in their areas quickly and efficiently. The other side is to let people know when their power will be put back on.

South Carolina Electric & Gas company posted live tweets to encourage people to stay patient while waiting for their power.
South Carolina Electric & Gas company posted live tweets to encourage people to stay patient while waiting for their power.

Aftermath

After a natural disaster a person can find out ways to help others in need by searching online, through social medium accounts, or even going to their local emergency crews to see who might need a helping hand. Volunteering after a natural disaster is a great way to give back if you weren’t effected from the storm. Many people venture out to see what damage as been done and post it to social media to alert others. Flooding can be a big impact even after the storm is gone which keeps social media busy continuously posting about the aftermath of the natural disaster.

Casey Oliver's family member's get out and help the community in Farmville, NC.
Casey Oliver's family members get out and help the community in Farmville, NC.

We hope that everyone out there stays safe and secure during natural disasters. Hopefully the next time one occurs you will be able to use social media to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Comment below with any experiences you've had with social media and natural disasters!