The Twitter Lifeline During Hurricane Sandy and the Impact of Social Media on Current Events

photo of twitter hurricane sandy pictures
When super-storm Sandy was making her way to NYC, I was sitting in my little cube at my job in California. I have a little TV in my cube and so do my coworkers, and all of the TVs were on and tuned in to the news but the sound was off and backs were turned, the faces were reading Twitter.

Every desk I walked by was pouring over a Twitter feed of some kind. That’s how I got my news, too. I read Ice-T and Coco, who were breaking down the storm from New Jersey, and Julie Klausner who was in the thick of Manhattan. Even today I’m following their updates about the storm. Julie was evacuated to a friend’s apartment with her cat, and Ice-T and Coco still have no power.

I was watching my feed as my friends in New York tweeted that they were okay, where they were, and what was happening. Later during the hurricane, I fell in love with Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

The night of the storm I lay in bed and saw a RT from Bette Middler of Cory Booker. I clicked on his feed, I had no idea who he was at the time, but I saw this man responding to tweets every few seconds. ‘DM me your address I’ll come there’, when someone would say the emergency number wasn’t working he would reply with one that was. When someone said power was out he responded with “I’ll report it, I’m in the area do you need anything?” he was out all night. Three days later he’s still updating people on Twitter letting them know he’s there.

When word got out that the NYC Marathon was going to go on, I watched my feed explode with anger. People going on and on about how awful it was to not cancel it and a few hours ago I watched as they rejoiced that Bloomberg announced that due to an outcry on social media, the race had been canceled. I saw pictures of people sharing power with signs that said “We have power, please use it to charge your phones or go online”. Getting online was a connection, it let us know you were there and what you needed.

I saw the storms devastation on Instagram and Twitpics, I saw the share link for the Google doc that was listing displace persons, and I read the hashtag #NOLATONYC where survivors of Katrina reached out and comforted people over 1,300 miles away.

Like it or not our lives play out over social media. Or lives intersect over social media. It is an age of rapid fire information. And is that always such a bad thing?



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Hillary Clinton Abruptly Cancels World Tour, Will Return to Washington to Help With Haiti Catastrophe


In breaking news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has cancelled her world tour in order to assist those in need from the throne of the most powerful country in the world.

Clinton, who had recently been in Hawaii, states that she is cancelling the remainder of her Pacific tour in order to man the home front and assist where needed in light of Haiti’s recent natural disaster.

Prior to cancelling her tour, Hillary had promised that US forces would maintain best efforts in assisting the devastated Haitian region in its rebuilding and healing.

God bless to the victims of Haiti’s earthquake and hopefully help really is on the way.

For you to do your part, you can text the following numbers to their respective carriers and donate a few dollars to help sustain the life that has survived in the devastated area:

Text the word “ Yele” to 501501 to donate $5
On behalf of the Yéle Foundation, the leading contributor to rebuilding Haiti founded by Wyclef Jean

Text the word “ Haiti” to 85944 to donate $5
On behalf of the Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International

Text the word “ Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5
On behalf of the Internal Rescue Committee

Text the word “ Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10
On behalf of the Red Cross in the U.S.

Text the word “ Haiti” to 45678 (In Canada Only)
On behalf of the Salvation Army in Canada



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