First, let me say, I am so thankful that we did not have a repeat of Hurricane Katrina yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are still with those in the southern Gulf states.
I was shocked – and happily suprised – to see the role that social media played in the Hurricane Gustav disaster preparation. Based on the wiki created after Hurricane Katrina, Andy Carvin, of NPR, established a social community on Ning that became The Hurricane Information Center. It did a wonderful job with weather maps, evacuation centers and routes, and linking people and information.
There was also an official Gustav wiki which had live news feeds from CNN and MSNBC, and included ham radio communications for those who lost internet connections.
Several Twitter accounts were established, including GustavAlerts, GustavNews and GustavBlogs. The Red Cross set up the Safe and Well list so family and friends could search those that had registered themselves as “safe and well.” Cerado Ventana created a mobile resource guide for those to access on their mobile phones.