residents can weather a storm more easily if they can stay connected..

….In the 21st century, the rise of social media and personal technology have had a similarly powerful effect on open societies. The nation saw it two weeks before Irma when the “Cajun Navy” of private boat owners and other citizens organized to assist victims after Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston. People no longer have to look solely to Washington, D.C., and their state capitals for help.

With Irma, Floridians had access to enormous amounts of real-time information in the palms of their hands, on local, state and national levels. They could monitor the hurricane’s track hour by hour, seek the best evacuation routes, watch streaming news casts, see people in other areas comment on, or post video of, what they were experiencing as the storm hit.

When Irma had passed, social media became abuzz with people exchanging information on where supplies were available, and which businesses were open. Several folks who had power invited their Facebook followers who were without electricity to come to their homes and take a hot shower, do laundry, cook a meal, or just relax for a spell in the air conditioning.

One drawback, however, is that those digital devices have made it more important to have backup power supplies, not just generators to run lights and refrigerators, but also external batteries to keep phones operational. It’s why local governments are wise to offer public charging stations in libraries and other facilities to meet post-storm demand. As Irma showed, residents can weather a storm more easily if they can stay connected…

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One thought on “residents can weather a storm more easily if they can stay connected..

  1. This is true. Volusia County was fortunate that only 28% of the cellphone towers were reported to the FCC as being out of service during and following Irma. That was the peak number and the daily reporting shows that service was restored pretty quickly in the days following the outages. I didn’t see reporting on the FCC site about cable system outages. No issues with the 911 system in Volusia County were reported.

    Cellphone and internet service providers typically have battery and/or gas/diesel/LP Gas powered generators as backup. In the case of storms where significant damage is done and recovery efforts are slowed due to impassable roads, users should expect these services to go offline as their batteries or fuel are exhausted and fuel deliveries for generators are not possible.

    I have included solar power as well as becoming licensed to operate amateur radio equipment into my plan for preparedness.


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