Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later

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PHOTO CREDIT: resources2.news.com

During and After the Storm, Social Media helped Staten Island stay connected and informed.

With the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy now come and gone, and as New Yorkers commemorated the worst storm to hit NYC in recent memory, we paused to recognize a few of the many unsung heroes and their critically effective use of social media during the storm.

As the storm hit and the waters rose and began flooding homes and offices, the only means of communication still up and running turned out to be social networks; specifically Facebook and Twitter.

 One small but very important group for whom a social media story has yet (until now) to be written: Staten Island’s local elected officials.

Now, it’s important to understand that there were many stories like this one throughout the boroughs as New Yorkers rose to the occasion to help their neighbors. All are commendable but we will never forget the heroic efforts of this small, tight-knit group of public servants on behalf of their constituents.

As the storm hit and the waters rose and began flooding homes and offices, the only means of communication still up and running turned out to be social networks; specifically Facebook and Twitter. As computer servers went down and business/official email no longer worked, these networks were the only alternative available and the SI electeds used them spectacularly well to communicate with their constituents and come to their aid. Again and again, we saw conversations unfold on Facebook.  Utilizing the comments section, people began talking to the people who would help them through the ordeal.  From homeowners needing to be rescued from the quickly rising waters, to pleas for assistance with a health emergency, neighbors and local officials alike Tweeted and Commented information that brought urgently needed help to those in need. They personified the phrase “public service” in a way that few ever will and demonstrated a social media model for emergency communications that should be studied and taught into the future.

As Councilman Oddo later tweeted:

Jimmy-Oddo-Sandy-Quotervd-900x194

Well said. And well done. An effort not likely to be forgotten on Staten Island for many years to come.

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