Relief organizations and first-responders are working tirelessly to provide aid to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The staff at TechSoup Global is keeping all those affected by the devastating hurricane in our thoughts as we work to support recovery efforts.

Mobile technology, web apps, and mapping software have become enormously helpful in sharing news and spreading information about relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Here are some examples of how  technology and social media are being used to share news as well as rescue and clean-up efforts.

  • Twitter has proven itself time and again as an excellent method of communication in times of crisis. During the hurricane, communities kept each other updated by using hashtags like #Sandy on what was happening in their neighborhood. Now, community members are using hashtags like #SandyVolunteer to find out where they can help out.
  • Government agencies, such as FEMA, also used Twitter to get the word out about the storm starting a week before it hit. Additionally, FEMA's apps for Apple, Android, and Blackberry provide weather information as well as tips for what to do during and after a hurricane.
  • The Google Crisis Response project has a slew of resources for both responders and those affected by disasters. Google's Hurricane Sandy map currently shows areas with power outages. Communities can also create their own custom Google Maps for identifying where help is needed.
  • Tweak the Tweet is a layered map that shows the locations of disaster-related Twitter hashtags. For example, you can see where people have tweeted about flooding by clicking blue dots, which correspond to #flood, #water, and #surge hashtags. You can also find out where volunteers are needed via the #need hashtag layer.
  • Hurricane Sandy's story and relief efforts are being told through photographs shared online, mostly via Instagram. According to mobile app's founder Kevin Systrom, more than 344,000 images have been posted with the hashtag #sandy. Instacane is an independent site that is tracking all photos with Sandy-related hashtags.
  • Mobile technologies can help people find shelter information in time of need. The Red Cross hurricane app uses GPS to find the nearest shelters. You can also text SHELTER and your zip code to 43352 (4FEMA) to find a local shelter.  
  • is a simple tool that helps affected communities create websites to organize disaster recovery efforts. The Lower East Side Recovers is an example of these tools in action.
  • coordinates recovery to neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy via special neighborhood hubs where community members can exchange information and volunteer goods or services.

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    Image: Mobile emergency, Shutterstock

      Ginny Mies is a Content Curator at TechSoup Global.