Social Media Helping Staten Islanders in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Post by: Rishi Chandiramani

Residents of Staten Island’s North Shore jumped into action, using Smart phones and community-focused social networks to mobilize help. Some examples ranged from appeals for donations of desperately needed food and clothing to offers of shelter for displaced families. As FEMA and the Red Cross slowly gear up to provide assistance to hard hit areas, community-minded residents have stepped up and filled the gap, big time.

A few examples of how ordinary Staten Islanders are stepping up to help neighbors whose lives have been turned upside-down in Sandy’s aftermath are listed below:

One Staten Island resident wrote this to her social-network neighbors on Friday: “Just called the Target Home Depot (in Concord) and they still have bags, gloves, et al. I’m going to take a run down there to pick up some to donate — anyone want to carpool on down?”

She continued to post “They are still taking these donations at Rabs Lanes on Hylan, so I’ll be heading down there eventually — let me know if you have stuff to donate.”

Another SI resident posted this generous message on Friday as well: “If anyone is in need of a warm shower, a hot meal, or a place to lay their head, we have power and are willing to take in anyone in need.”

It is great to see how people have figured out ways to provide real time help through the use of social media platforms.

Question to the class: Have you, or someone you know, utilized social media in order to help or receive help from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy?


4 thoughts on “Social Media Helping Staten Islanders in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

  1. Thankfully, I did not have to use social media after Sandy’s destruction, but I have noticed my timeline filled with organizations you can donate money to in order to help others that were hit hard by the storm. Also, many celebrities are using social media as a tool to reach many followers in order to tell them what items are in need to be donated and where they can send any clothes, food, etc. I think this provides a great way for celebrities to reach their fans who want to give back as well as people in our area who have friends outside of the city that want to help. It is a way to reach many who can see first hand how devestating the storm truly was to some families and individuals. There are also social media campaigns I have seen by companies who want to help. These brands are willing to donate items in need and they are reaching these communities through means of social media.

  2. Social media has had a big impact in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. I have seen posts not only for donations, but opportunities to help, where to find supplies and messages posted letting everyone know that they are safe. A personal example is tweets informing people where to find gas. My friend tweeted that he found a gas station with short lines and still had supply. He let everyone who follows him on twitter know where the gas station was and if they are in need of gas to get there as soon as possible. I saw that two or three people who follow him took his advice and tweeted about the gas station and the wait lines when they finally made their way to the station. This is a very helpful use of social media for people who have been affected by the hurricane. Another good use of social media during times of crisis is when the city of New York and related agencies sends out tweets to let citizens know the status of the recovery effort and what they should expect in the upcoming days, as well as what each individual can do to help.

  3. To add to what Josh mentioned above, even up until now (9 days after the Hurricane) the lines at the gas stations do not appear to be getting any shorter. I’m still seeing friends on Facebook post updates about the hour long waits to get gas. Fortunately, I found a website called which allows you to find cheap gas prices near you. The most beneficial part of the app is that the motorists that “check in” to these gas stations have been posting how long the waits are. This app is perfect for times like this.

  4. I really enjoyed this article. I have pondered this before while reading all the articles about what social media can do, and how really impressive it is when it can mobilize everyday people for a good cause.

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