Home BrowardBeat.com Irma Was A Social Media Storm

Irma Was A Social Media Storm

Michael Udine’s Facebook feed

I remember wandering through a badly damaged downtown Pensacola with a pocket full of dimes searching for a working phone booth to call the City Desk.

That was covering a hurricane 40 years ago.

Forget all that. Forget the paid journalists, the crusty editors and waiting for them to tell you the news about a hurricane.

During Irma all a storm survivor needed was a cell phone and working Internet connection.

Irma was a social media hurricane.

“Social media was amazing. It was the driving force informing residents,” Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine said.

Udine’s Facebook video feed featured interviews with Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie, Florida Power & Light folks and others. They were instructive and useful.

No, Udine didn’t ask tough questions. Still, his feed drew over 33,000 views during Irma.

Udine wasn’t alone.

Mayor Josh Levy of Hollywood scored an interview with FPL CEO Eric Silagy to report first hand on restoring power.

Mayor Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale also kept residents informed hour-by-hour of the progress of turning the lights back on. Seiler posted some videos shot by others, but I would have liked to see Seiler make his own live broadcasts.