Disaster victims use social media for help - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Disaster victims use social media for help

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

We are finding out what calling for help in a time of devastation looks like in the era of social media. Twitter became an emergency communications hub after Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas Friday.

Hundreds of people called for help on twitter. One woman begged for help for her mother and brother, who were stuck on the roof of their home.

One photo, of resident sitting in flood waters of a nursing home, went viral. Those post are just a couple of hundreds of calls for help that Social Media Analytics Firm, Talkwalker, has been tracking.

"Even if they are trying to call 911, the lines are so saturated and busy," said TalkwalkerCEO Todd Grossman. "Twitter, as we see, is the fastest way to spread information from emergency officials and also a way to spread information about where people can help."

He said social media also gave us a glimpse of the human side of tragedy, neighbor helping neighbor.

"There is one instance in which a dog was found," Grossman said. "A gentleman was able to post a picture of a dog and it was retweeted over 15-hundred times."

Grossman said right now there are other emergency relief organization looking to social media to help people. He said Talkwalker would be happy to help them with finding calls for help through social media.

More than 3 million posts were sent out over different social media platforms about Hurricane Harvey over the weekend, according to Grossman.

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

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