To my family, friends and readers in New Orleans, I’m praying for you and the entire gulf coast during this season’s Hurricane situation. My roots lie in New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, Miss and so does my heart. I wouldn’t be the person, mother and woman I am if I didn’t have the culture, traditions, strength and sense of community that embodied my family. These values my great-grandparents, great aunts & uncles brought to the West Coast from the Gulf Coast, and they continue to live on strong in counties and parishes down there. We love you and we are for you once again!
For everyone who is down there or for those who know folks down there, I have some information for you. I know there are still a lot of people who do not believe in the power of social media or who just aren’t interested. But in situations like this (catastrophes, natural disasters) social media sources such as Twitter and Facebook can be a great tool to find folks, resources and supplies. Right now trending on Twitter are the hashtags #NOLAfood#NOLAlove#NOLAgas#NOLAopen. Also follow Nola.com on twitter for up to the minute information. If you or someone you know is in the city of New Orleans or surrounding New Orleans, please either hop on Twitter for them or pass along the information. Searching through these hashtags you will find grocery stores, restaurants, convenient stores, gas stations and more that are open, available for service and more. People are sharing where the long lines are, where ice is available now, where electricity is available for charging phones, computers and more. It’s all in real time and available to everyone. Even if you don’t have a twitter account, you can still search the Hashtags by simply googling them with the # symbol in front!
Now because of my ties to New Orleans I have that information, but I am sure that there are other hashtags with information for other cities and counties available if you search. One of the great things about Twitter is that you are able to get news almost as soon as it happens. It’s an amazing way to get news out, get news, find folks or general information. The gulf coast is being affected by hurricanes and Southern California is being affected by earthquakes. The best thing to do is stay connected so that you know what’s going on around you!
Please please please also check on your neighbors! Especially if they have children or are elderly. Make sure they are staying cool in that heat, have water and food and have the medical supplies they need during this time. Godspeed everyone! Hugs and kisses all around!