Whether you've using the Internet or a cell phone (smart or dumb), here's how you can track Hurricane Irene, access the American Red Cross through Facebook and Twitter, schedule news alerts, connect with others and find loved ones.
Where to follow Hurricane Irene online
- Msnbc.com's hurricane tracker
- The Weather Channel's hurricane tracker
- The New York Times' hurricane tracking map
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website
- The Google Crisis Response Center
- NASA's Earth Observatory
- Your local TV or newspaper sites
Online support forums
- American Red Cross Safe and Well: Register yourself as “Safe and Well” and search for loved ones who have registered on the website as well.
- The Hurricane Irene network: Allows users to share ideas, report problems and give praise, and includes a handy set of links to evacuation maps and disaster preparedness information.
- Reddit Irene forum: Members of the popular news and image-sharing site share first-hand accounts, trade information, seek help and elevate stress via the community's legendary wise-cracking.
Resource pages on Facebook
- Hurricane Irene: State Resources
- The American Red Cross
- Department of Homeland Security (for shelter locations and information)
- Global Disaster Relief page, a "hub for preparedness, response and relief information."
- National Weather Service
- FBI Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes
- Hurricane Irene Community page
- Share Your Story
Twitter accounts to follow
- @twc_hurricane: The Weather Channel’s hurricane central account shares the latest updates on Irene’s location.
- @NYCMayorsOffice: Official info for New Yorkers on evacuations, transportation and more.
- @FEMA and @CraigatFEMA: Preparation tips and the latest updates on Hurricane #Irene.
- @RedCross: American Red Cross Twitter account.
- @HumaneSociety: Up-to-date info on pet and animal assistance.
Get Hurricane Irene alerts on your computer or phone (whether it's smart or dumb)
Fast Follow on Twitter:Use this feature as "the quickest way to begin receiving updates from a Twitter source on your mobile device. You do not need to sign up for a Twitter account in order to receive updates directly to your mobile phone. For example, to follow FEMA (@fema), all you need to do is text ‘follow fema’ to 40404" in the United States. You can do the same with any Twitter account by sending the text message of "Follow (username)" to 40404. You can learn more about Fast Follow here.
Set SMS alerts on Twitter:"From your computer, wherever you see a user on Twitter.com, you can hover over their name or avatar, and click on the phone icon that appears in the hovercard. Whenever they tweet, you'll get it as an SMS message on your phone."
You can learn more about Twitter ast Follow and Set SMS Alerts here.
Facebook has a "Facebook for Every Phone" program that it says is "faster" to use than its own mobile site.
The social networking giant says on its Help Center Web pagethat the "Facebook for Every Phone" program, or app, can be obtained from one of three places:
1. The app may be preloaded onto your phone.
2. You may find the app in your phone's app store (for example: GetJar [or your own carrier's on-phone store]).
3. The app is also hosted on our mobile site — you can download it from m.facebook.com.
If for some reason your phone doesn't support the mobile app (most but not all do), you can always try the Facebook mobile site itself, at m.facebook.com.
Mobile apps to help in a hurricane
- Disaster Prep (iPhone only): Covers disaster kit checklists, a personal medical record database, reminders every six months to check/rotate kit supplies, family emergency plan forms, insurance and vehicle information, as well as first aid and basic CPR.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (Android only): Features interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe during and in the aftermath of a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations and shelters.
- Shelter View by American Red Cross (iPhone only): Provides map locations and shelter details across the United States.
- Gas Buddy (iPhone, Android): Maps the closest gas stations to you, it'll tell you how much you'll expect to pay.
- Poynt (iPhone, Android): Finds nearby businesses based on your search specifications, people, restaurants, gas stations, events and movies.
- S.O.S by American Red Cross (Android only): Step-by-step video narration by Dr. Oz (yes, Dr. Oz, from the show) on 50 common emerency care situations and allows users to follow along with demos; and 3-D animations, audio and visual counters for real time CPR compressions.
- ICE: Emergency Contact (Android, similar apps are available for iPhone): Sends SMS alerts to all your saved contacts and call rescue workers if you're in trouble and need help immediately. Saves useful medical information for rescue workers (allergies, medications, pre-existing conditions, your identity, organ donor status, blood type, etc.) and emergency contacts.
- BuddyGuard VIP (iPhone only): Primarily billed as a way to protect your iPhone in case of theft, it records "images, audio and your GPS location and sends them to a server in the cloud. It's like your own black box." But it goes the extra step in sending alerts to friends, family, or whoever you designate, if you fail to check in at the time you set.
- Disaster Alert by Pacific Disaster Center (iPhone, Android): Runs down a listing and an interactive map of "Active Hazards" occurring around the globe, that includes (but is not limited to) hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and volcanoes.
For more on Hurricane Irene
- No smartphone for Irene? You can still use Twitter, Facebook
- 'Come On Irene': The music video
- For Hurricane Irene, Newark mayor Cory Booker has your back
- See Hurricane Irene through the eyes of iPhone users