Social Media During Disasters

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"We prepared for Ike...we were ready for Rita. We didn't think a tropical storm would be a big deal," Mansi sighed. Mansi is a native Texan and has seen her fair share of rainfall in her hometown of Missouri City located about 30 mins from Houston. She shared some of her stories of tropical storm Harvey and also how she has used social media in the time of this ongoing disaster. 

"I've never had to be home bound this long, but it's just not safe. I just recently was told that Missouri City residents should evacuate. My sister and I are at my aunt's now but my parents still hung back. I looked outside my window and the streets in front of our house looked like we live by a stream, it was a scary drive but the closer I got to my aunt's, I saw dry roads." Tropical storm Harvey has already brought Texas almost 40 inches of rain and this figure is still expected to grow until Friday. 

When asked how she engaged with social media, Mansi said she and her father were able to mark themselves safe on Facebook on the day the storm was at it's peak. Second to email, Facebook is the preferred way to share content among 93% of adult users who use the internet.

Social media use during Harvey has been compared to superstorm Sandy that ravaged America's northernmost coastline causing devastation over New York, Maine, and other surrounding states. Twitter accounts for the American Red Cross, FEMA, and Homeland Security gave Americans live updates on Sandy and are doing the same for Harvey. While officials are urging those who need help to call an emergency center directly, many have turned to Twitter due to the massive volume of calls 911 was receiving.  

"I miss the sun. I feel like it's been dark forever, I'll 99% miss my cousin's baby shower over Labor Day weekend and that is a bummer but I am lucky enough that I am in not in an area that is totally destroyed. Watching the news is so sad, this is my state and seeing all those babies and older adults who are helpless is heartbreaking."

All of us at Imagine Media are sending are love and support for all of the Texans who have been affected by Harvey and to all that have helped rescue those in need. We strongly believe in humans helping humans here. If you are able, please donate to any of the local or national organizations listed below to send aid: 

Hurricane Harvey Relief Funds

Houston Food Bank


The Red Cross

Story By; Reshma Brahmbhatt