Social Media and the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

This will be a week that no one will soon forget in the tri-state area. Hurricane Sandy rolled in Monday evening and punched New Jersey and the neighboring states right in the face. The destruction has been widespread, with the New Jersey shoreline taking the brunt of the hit. A total of 67 have died as a result of Hurricane Sandy, 19 in Staten Island alone. A total of 4.5 Million homes in Sandy’s path still remain without power this morning. The recovery continues four days after Hurricane Sandy’s departure.

While the information is primarily specific to New Jersey, this should give you a good idea what to look for along the Social Media channels if you ever face a similar situation where you live. As usual, Twitter is providing a wealth of real-time information to assist residents. Look for relevant #hashtags as a good starting point.

Power Information – 1.5 Million NJ residents still remain without power as of Friday morning. PSE&G and JCP&L deliver are the two major providers and they both have actively tweeted answers to customers questions and tweeting as towns regain power. Both have stated it could take up to 7-10 days to get everyone up and running. I’m still waiting, and certainly understand the frustration that many are feeling.

@PSEGdelivers – Providing power restoration updates on Twitter. They have been running 7AM to 11PM the last few days. (800-436-7734)

@JCP_L – Similar to PSE&G and active around 8AM to 11:30PM (888-544-4877)

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PSEG Tweet Hurricane Sandy

Gas Shortage – With power still being out in about 50% of NJ, 100+ car gas lines have sprouted not seen since the odd/even days during the energy crisis in 1979. The other issue is that the NJ/NY ports have been closed, so gas deliveries have not been made. Hess has been the savior and winner during the crisis. With a refinery in NJ they’ve had most stations opened and are meeting customers needs. I’ve seen some crazy gas lines the last few days and waits have been 1-6 hours in most cases. This also has created major congestion as cars lay idle in the right lane. In some cases, gas stations are capping the amount of gas you can take at $20. Again, Twitter has been instrumental by providing information on gas stations open throughout the state along with wait times.

#njgas #njopen @njgas – Must searches and follows on Twitter giving specifics on open stations, gas availability, and wait times.

njgas Hurricane Sandy

Hess Express Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together – NBC will broadcast a one-hour live benefit telethon that will help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Performers include Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Sting, and Christina Aguilera. Matt Lauer will host the benefit concert.

Red Cross – As always, a great place to donate is to the American Red Cross. The Red Cross provides shelter, food, and aid to those affected by the disaster. The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers as well if you’re able to help.

The New York City Marathon will take place on Sunday Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday. There has been much controversy about the decision as many remain without power and are homeless. It does seem insensitive, while taking the focus off tens of thousands of people in need. Staten Island, where the race starts, had a lot of damage and most are not happy with the Mayor’s decision. What is your opinion on this? Should the race go on, or is the timing not right here?

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