Hurricane Sandy’s devastating winds and rains have caused a number of states along the Eastern Seaboard to declare states of emergency. Communities and cities from South Carolina up to Maine have closed businesses, suspended public transportation, and imposed travel restrictions as Sandy moves northward.
While it may be safer in some cases to stay inside until the worst of the storm has passed, some residents of the East Coast must brave the conditions and hit the potentially flooded roads to get to their destinations.
Fortunately, there are many emergency resources available online, and social media means updates on the storm and evacuation information are available almost instantaneously.
Many states’ mass transit agencies, police departments, and Departments of Transportation have strong presences on Facebook and Twitter. A simple search for “NYC subway” or “Maryland DOT” on either site, for example, should bring you to its respective feed.
The following agencies and organizations, in addition to setting up special Hurricane Sandy webpages, can also be found on both Twitter and Facebook. These feeds provide safety tips, updates, and emergency contact numbers:
On Twitter, @BreakingNewsStorm provides continuous updates on the storm as it makes its way north.
On Facebook, the Hurricane Sandy Community page provides its users with updates, reports from each affected area, and also allows those who like the page to exchange well wishes and information. Additionally, the group Hurricane Sandy Volunteer Network provides a list of resources for people in affected areas.
Instacane allows users to track and document the storm using their Instagram accounts.
The Hurricane Sandy subreddit at r/Sandy allows users to share photos, updates, tips, and some humor on the storm.
USACOPS provides a list of local police departments that you can contact for assistance, though many officials urge those in emergencies to stick with 911.
All of these resources are accessible via smartphone, which is particularly important during a storm that has already knocked out power and Internet access in some areas.
Photo via CorpsNewEngland/Flickr