How Social Media Helps in a Disaster

This past Wednesday night my area stayed wide awake well past midnight as we waited on news of tornadoes all around us. They struck below and above us – we were missed by less than 20 miles. But the news began to immediately pour in about the destruction in Ringgold, GA. While the news was occupied with keeping us updated on the weather, I turned to Twitter to get updates on the town that was hit so hard just above us.

I went to Twitter on my IPad and searched “ringgold” and here is what I was able to find:

  • a scanner feed from Emergency responders in the area I could listen to
  • pictures going up immediately
  • people saying they were OK
  • Tweets describing the devastation they were witnessing
  • (the next morning) how certain churches / groups were going to respond
  • and much more

For the first time in my area I was able to keep up to the minute on a tragedy just north of my home. After it was over CNN ran a story on how Facebook was helping in the aftermath:

A group on Facebook has created a page to try to link victims of Thursday’s tornadoes with photos, documents and other personal effects blown away in the storm.

The page, called “Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes,” lets members post photographs of things they’ve found, along with their e-mail addresses, in the hopes that items of value may be reunited with their owners.

The page was created Wednesday evening. As of Friday at 5:30 p.m., it had more than 50,000 “likes” and displayed more than 600 images of found items, including a child’s Raggedy Ann blanket; a Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, mortgage document; and an ultrasound image of a fetus.

The description of the page’s purpose is simple:

“Please post pictures or pictures of other items that were found as debris after the 4/27/2011 tornadoes,” it reads. “Please leave a brief description of how someone can find you if they identify pictures or items that belong to them.”

If Social Media can help out in that kind of tragedy, how ought the church be using it to make a difference in the lostness of the world?

How is your church using Social Media to fulfill Acts 1:8?



Powered by Facebook Comments

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

Powered by Facebook Like Button plugin for WordPress