Social Media Lessons Learned During Hurricane Sandy

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a Jersey Shore resident, born and raised. My current home is a half mile from the Ocean and less than that from a river on the other side. I was very fortunate, my house and my family are fine. Many were not as fortunate, as I am sure you have been witnessing on all of the major television stations.

In addition to worrying about my family and friends during the hurricane and the week after, we were also working and worrying about our clients, most of whom were without power, phones, and internet. As it turned out, hurricane Sandy helped us demonstrate to all of our clients, how crucial their social media accounts had become.

When the students of Advantage Career Institute didn’t know whether school was on or off because they couldn’t call the school and no email was coming out, they went to ACI’s Facebook page and we were able to answer their questions and keep them informed.  When donors wanted to reach the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean County to help with food donations and couldn’t reach them by phone, they turned to the FoodBank’s Facebook page for answers and we were able to provide guidance on how they can help. When the Natural Healthcare Center in Long Branch wanted to let their patients know that the roof was repaired and the generator was on and the phones were back, once again it was Facebook that helped us communicate that. When Casa Giuseppe wanted their patrons to know that power had been restored and they would be serving dinner on Saturday night, Facebook and Twitter came to the rescue and their restaurant was full of happy diners on Saturday night.

When power lines were on the ground and no one had access to their laptops and PC’s, everyone turned to their smart phones and tablets. From these devices, Facebook was the go-to communication tool among friends, families and businesses. It was a hairy week for us, keeping in touch with our clients via spotty cell-phone service, but it also made us really appreciate what we do and the power of these communication tools that have become such a part of our lives.

How many of you have been using Social Media to keep up to date with loved ones, friends, customers impacted by the hurricane? I’d love to hear how.