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Long Islanders Use Facebook, Google Docs to Find Love Ones Post-Sandy

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 11:06am

Whether looking for a skillful barber or a top mobile app, crowdsourcing has become a staple of information gathering in the digital age. So, it’s no surprise that Long Island communities, greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy‘s destructive path, have taken to Facebook and Google Docs to seek information and share status updates.

The New York communities on Long Beach and Rockaway have organically created Facebook pages to share community updates after the storm.

The groups’ descriptions explain that they are non-official ways to share information from the neighborhoods and ask for help where needed. “This group is for the people, by the people. We are not an official site,” the Long Beach page says.

The community of Long Beach has also put together a Google Doc of missing persons, including names, addresses and ages of unaccounted individuals. The list at press time has about 50 names listed. There is also a shared Google Map, within the Docs, plotting the locations of missing persons.

Adding some hope to the difficult situation, there is also a shared Google Doc of people who’ve been found whose families may be searching for updates, including a comparable-length list of names.

Though these pages have garnered thousands of likes, the question remains whether residents, who’ve been disconnected from the Internet, will be able to use them to find the help they need.

Have you seen any other innovative ways communities are banding together to share information in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? Let us know in the comments how your community’s staying connected.

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November 1, 2012

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