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Keeping NJ Residents In The Loop During Sandy [AUDIO]

It turns out social media played a big part in keeping Garden state residents in the loop during Superstorm Sandy.

Stone Harbor Volunteer Fire Company #1 Facebook

Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters says one of the lessons from hurricane Irene was “people wanted to know what was going on…when you have to evacuate and it’s your home, it’s frightening and you just don’t know, and you’re looking at worse-case scenarios on tv and radio, so being able to assure people really helped a lot of people.”

She says during Sandy, “The town used Facebook and Twitter updates to keep everybody informed about what was happening…We actually had four 16 year olds in our fire company who were in charge of the social media, so it was great for them. They were doing a job, they were very happy to be there, and it was great for us because they knew what they were doing …They were giving updates on Facebook and they were just absolutely thrilled to be getting that information – we put photographs on, and people were thrilled to be able to know what was happening.”

Meeting in West Windsor about storm communication
Meeting in West Windsor about storm communication (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

Walters adds, “We were, of course, going out and assessing damages throughout the couple of days we were at the firehouse, and we would take them with us. They would take pictures – and they would post them on Facebook…It’s s a blessing – it’s very important- that’s what people want these days, they want to be able to get on the Facebook page and see what’s happening, they want to be able to get a tweet from somebody knowing what’s going on.”

She also says, “It’s vitally important for people to be able to get instant information and social media sites can be a big part of this – the Governor was fantastic being on a teleconference everyday at least once if not twice with all the elected officials – communication is key…it made a huge difference.”

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