Locals use social media to stay in touch with hurricane victims


KIMT News 3 – As Hurricane Matthew takes its course towards the eastern part of Florida, folks are starting to evacuate their homes preparing for the worst.

“With hurricanes you have so many downed power lines there’s just no way the power company is going to be able to fix all until Saturday or Sunday,” says Vicky Gallagher of Casselberry, Florida, a northern suburb of Orlando.

Gallagher is a former resident of Marble Rock and is telling us her story through Facebook Messenger as well informing friends and family in North Iowa through consistent updates as she evacuates her home.

“I have been texting my siblings and updating Facebook,” says Gallagher.

Social media experts say because of the powerful nature of the storm, it’s best to let electronics charge as long as possible.

“This might be a good time to actually talk to them,” says Sara Broers, Social Connections LLC. “If they’ve charged everything up and the power’s gone, the phones are only going to last so long.”

Broers says using Twitter is the most direct way for folks to stay in touch as well as Facebook’s emergency check-in feature.

“Watch for them to check in because once an emergency hits, Facebook activates the check-in feature for those in the emergency, allowing them to let friends and family know they are safe,” says Broers.

As for Gallagher, she is hoping folks are making the best decisions to keep themselves out of harm’s way.

“Everybody on the coast hopefully has already evacuated,” she says. “Just watch the news and watch the emergency operations centers posting their bulletins.”

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