The power of social media in a hurricane

Social media is becoming increasingly relevant in our day-to-day lives. We tweet about our breakfast and use Instagram to share our holiday photos with our friends. But, social networks like Twitter and Facebook are also shifting the way news is reported and consumed during natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy is perhaps the best example of how mobile device apps can be used to track and narrate a storm.

During and after the hurricane social media users were able to share information about their location and safety with their loved ones. Anyone with a smartphone could spread breaking news, and similarly take in emergency information from government officials. Media outlets estimate that 20 million tweets tagged #Sandy or related terms. The popular online photo-sharing network Instagram had about 800,000 photos tagged with #Sandy.

However social media does have its limitations – once your phone battery runs out so does your option to use these networks. Luckily radio towers are built to survive hurricane-strength winds, and thanks to backup generators they can continue to operate from 8 to 10 days if the power does go out. Home generators can also ensure power for a similar time frame under your own roof, allowing you to keep your TV, radio, computers, and mobile devices powered up.

People that live in zones at risk of natural disasters need to be prepared for the worst situations, including power loss. A backup generator could be the one thing that keeps you linked to emergency broadcast services and in the capacity to communicate with those important to you.