All eyes are following Hurricane Joaquin as the US East Coast prepares for continued dangerous weather related to the storm – some states have already seen dramatic rainfall. Emergency management agencies up and down the coast are using social media to keep the public informed of the storm’s strength and movement, and also to relay warnings and safety information related to heavy rains and high winds associated with the storm. As the question of when and where landfall will occur still looms, we’ve compiled the Twitter handles of a few agencies working to keep citizens safe.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency @fema is a great place to start, as they are giving information that pertains to the Bahamas and the entire Atlantic Coast of the US, and they are retweeting helpful information from other agencies as well.
@ReadyGov is a great resource for information on staying safe during dangerous weather conditions, and emergency preparedness in general. On this Twitter feed you can find information on building your own emergency kit.
North Carolina Emergency Management @NCEmergency shares expected rainfall and flood safety tips, utilizing #ReadyNC and #ncwx hashtags to streamline delivery of vital information related to expected flooding across the state.
New York City Emergency Management @nycoem expects a less direct hit from Hurricane Joaquin, but uses Twitter to help coastal communities prepare. They are also using the hashtag #KnowYourZone to inform the public about evacuation plans, should evacuations become necessary.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management @VDEM is using social media to pass along Hurricane Joaquin updates, expected rainfall, and also road closures. Follow the hashtag #GetReadyVA to learn more about emergency preparedness.
As these agencies are proving, social media can be a lifesaver during severe weather, natural disasters, and all states of emergency. If you would like more information on how your agency can use social media as a lifeline, check out this case study.