As Tropical Storm Isaac continues its path toward the Florida panhandle and other southeastern states, it reminds us of the great social media tools that are available, in case emergency weather and storms may affect where we may be. There may be few locations in the world that may be able to avoid a natural disaster, drought or other weather issues so having some of these tools, may be a lifesaver!
Smartphone users will be ready for keeping up with weather apps and even be ready to capture some of the storm on video for the world to see. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites will be in full force over the next days.
Below are several ways to use social media, along with a few key apps to prepare for severe weather.
* Red Cross First Aid App: This app not only teaches first aid tips but prepares you for emergencies for many types; from hurricanes to power outages, anytime you need.
* Red Cross Hurricane App: This app will monitor weather conditions in your area and tracking the immediate storms, preparing your family and home for severe weather, finding help and a way to let others know that you are safe, flashlight app for your phone and much more.
* Using #Hashtags: Twitter uses this as a popular and common way to find trending topics. Some cities, for example, Houston, Texas, have provided pre-identified hashtags for storms and other natural weather issues. These may allow you quick access to information and needs in your area when storms and issues may come.
* Twitter Town Hall Meetings: In the past, town hall meetings were (and still are) a great way to bring the masses together to share plans and ideas. But to bring a larger audience and an opportunity to bring together more people online, in emergency type situations, Twitter town hall meetings have emerged to become more popular. Many emergency management offices have already used these to prepare their communities for these events.
* Using streaming & uploaded videos: Smartphones have made this so simple to take and share this with others online, whether community and emergency leaders or others in your community as immediate events happen.
* Crowdsourcing: Using the various social media tools and sites to find out what everyone is talking and tweeting about…and entering in to listen and share what’s happening to help others. Many emergency management offices have used these to interact with their neighboring communities.
Hope these help as we prepare for coming severe storms, hurricanes, and other natural weather issues in your area.