Every time I see this, I laugh.
Sep 18 2008
Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area badly last Friday. When a massive storm hits an area of over 5 million people and leaves at least 2.2 million customers without power, communication becomes an issue. Phone (land and mobile) became suspect at best and those unfortunate to have cable as their phone provider were completely out of luck. Internet connections may have been there, but who had power to run computers? How was one supposed to let friends and family members know they were OK after the storm? How were we supposed to find out what happened to our friends and families?
The answer: Twitter.
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Twitter works on a cell phone, a BlackBerry, or a computer. You post something when you can; when you have power, access, or just a working connection, and the message stays there for everyone to see when they have power, access, or a working connection.
During Hurricane Ike, I was able to let people know we received minor damage and that everyone was OK. At the same time, I got updates on the status of many people in the area who were in similar situations. Next, we started sharing news and information about the storm damage, where you could find supplies, how things looked from our side of town, and just random thoughts. By connecting with others in the midst of the storm, I felt a sense of power even though we had no power. Reconnecting with others gave me a tremendous psychological boost.
Sep 17 2008
Houston is slowly returning to normal as many of us are regaining power following Hurricane Ike. The gas lines are still a problem, but more stations are opening and it seems that FEMA is getting its act together and getting supplies out to those who need them. It’s not fast enough, but things are looking up.
Here is a video I shot from my house on the northwest side of Houston during Hurricane Ike. We didn’t have the full power of the storm, but what we had was impressive.
In the end, only minor damage and 3 days without power. We were VERY lucky.