Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hurricane season checklist: Water, batteries, Twitter account?

June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season and South Florida knows its best to be prepared. Water, flashlights, batteries... Twitter account?

After the earthquake in Haiti, social media played a pivotal role, not only in facilitating donations but in keeping families and friends connected. During the first week of the disaster, news reporters would tweet locations and ask for assistance via web 2.0. Now with hurricane season upon us it would be wise to remember "social media is not just for gossiping".

Recently quoted in a Sun Sentinel article on the topic, Sarah Marmion, spokeperson for Florida power and Light Co. said, "We know how important it is to communicate with our customers during a storm situation". FPL is both on twitter and Facebook.

Among the technological advances since the very active 2005 season that brought Dennis, Katrina and Wilma to our shores, the St. Petersburg Times lists social media outlets as sources to communicate to the public. "While officials still urge the use of battery-powered radios during power outages, they realize many people use their cell phones for text messaging or to access the internet."

The Sun Sentinel article can be found here. The St. Petersburg Times article can be found here here.

Daniel Timiraos

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