Hurricane Sandy and social media: Lessons learned

Social media played a key role in keeping people informed about the transportation-related impacts of Hurricane Sandy according to a panel discussion sponsored by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University.

Some key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Speed overrides risk: It’s better to share information quickly, even at the risk of spreading misinformation.
  • Photos and videos are essential: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority used Flickr and YouTube to share images of the storm damage and the clean-up efforts, while the New York City Department of Transportation posted photos on Instagram. The images appeared in multiple publications, including The Transit Wire, which helped establish public understanding and support during recovery.
  • Behind the scenes, it’s resource-intensive: Efforts to keep the public informed required research, collaboration, and coordination.

Panelists included Robin Lester Kenton (NYC DOT), Aaron Donovan and JP Chan (MTA), Ben Kabak (Second Avenue Sagas), and Tyson Evans (The New York Times).

Link to full story in Rudin Center Blog.

MTA photo shows a boat that washed onto the Metro-North tracks in Ossining.

Photo credit: MTAPhotos/Flickr

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