Social media a key conduit for warnings and hope during #HurricaneMichael

Though Facebook and Instagram feature emotional images, Twitter is the main channel for sharing updates and broadcasting corporate social responsibility efforts.

As Hurricane Michael battered the Florida Panhandle and plowed into Georgia, government officials, relief agencies and businesses took to social media.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott expressed concern about the death toll.

The New York Times reported:

The full extent of the damage and other casualties was uncertain: Gov. Rick Scott told CNN on Thursday that two hospitals in Panama City were damaged in the storm and were “in the process of being closed down.”

He said that temporary hospitals were being set up to treat people injured in the storm, but that “we don’t know the numbers” of injured yet.

“My biggest concern would be loss of life,” he said.

FEMA chief Brock Long said he worried about people who hadn’t evacuated when they had the chance.

The Times continued:

Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview on CNN on Thursday that he was most concerned about a few areas on the Florida coast, particularly Mexico Beach, the eastern parts of Panama City, Apalachicola and around Tyndall Air Force Base. He said that it appeared that the hospital system in Panama City had suffered major damage.

…Emergency responders and search-and-rescue teams would try to enter the hardest-hit areas after sunrise, but Mr. Long expected that process to be challenging, given all the fallen trees, debris and downed power lines. He worried that the number of people killed in the storm would rise once crews could reach places where people did not evacuate.

“People do not live to tell the tale about storm surge,” he said.

Social media channels are full of images of the destruction from Hurricane Michael’s wrath:

Scott used his Twitter feed to share warnings and offer hope to Floridians:

Some official entities used Twitter to advise about road closings:

The Florida Health Department tweeted safety tips:

It also shared how people can help survivors and people affected by the storm:

Posts with animals performed especially well. Evacuees shared inspiring and lighthearted images of family and pets being packed off to safety:

Corporations speak up

Airlines are sharing updates about disrupted flights on Twitter:

Big-box chains such as Home Depot and Target are touting their efforts to aid affected areas:


Walmart has retweeted thanks it received for serving first responders:

Amazon opened a “relief pickup station”:

Chains are sharing weather-related store closings:

Facebook and Instagram

On Facebook, users have created groups to direct resources and aid to people in need.

On Instagram, some are thanking first responders and emergency aid workers:

How are you talking about Hurricane Michael, PR Daily readers?


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