Mobile technologies enable average citizens to document storms as they develop on the ground–in many cases faster than mainstream media can keep up. Several websites have also set up pages where people can upload their own stories and pictures about life after the storm.
Just as important as keeping people informed about what’s going on the ground is the need to advise people about how to cope with the tragedy of this storm.
FEMA’s apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices provide weather information, including a page on what to do during and after a hurricane.
FEMA administrator Craig Fugate tweeted about the storm periodically for about a week, providing more than 30,000 people with tips and links to help them sift through all the news about Sandy.
Google created an interactive Hurricane Sandy Crisis map that allows anyone track the storm and find information about affected areas, evacuation zones, evacuation centres and Red Cross emergency shelters.
The map was recently updated to include power outage information as well. The map also has layers so you can view the information most relevant to you.
There were times when it took days, maybe even weeks, to get vital supplies into the hands of rescue teams and survivors.
Doing your part to offer support the recovery efforts takes just a click or touch of the screen through online donations to the Red Cross. You can also text donations to front-line organizations.
Teams of volunteers can be assembled almost as easily, with online tools making it simple to assign tasks and monitor progress. If you’d like to let your fingers do the helping, check out MNN’s handy list of worthy organizations.
People have also been using text messaging across their social network to arrange showers, recharge mobile devices, and take care of personal higene at various people's homes that have electrical power and hot water. Many have spread the burden across their group of friends.
T-Mobile and AT&T to share networks in areas impacted by hurricane Sandy. Times of national disaster not only can bring together people, but also rival technology companies.
AT&T and T-Mobile are working together to provide more service and coverage in areas hit by the storm. The two cellular providers will share networks and roaming capabilities in New York and New Jersey.
AT&T and T-Mobile customers are able to place calls as they usually do. The calls just might be carried over a network they don’t subscribe to. For instance, T-Mobile customers in New York City who have had very little service during the storm aftermath will now be able to place calls over AT&T’s network.