Today Storm Doris caused chaos throughout the United Kingdom. In many places it still is with London train stations still full of people trying to get home and many others suffering without power.
However, I noticed tonight after heading out to a meeting which had been cancelled, how much social media helps us in such situations. Had the cancellation of this meeting been put on social media I probably would have seen it and not bothered to leave the house.
How many of us today checked Facebook, Twitter and other places on the internet before we left the house? The information we found there saved many of us being caught in the extreme conditions and possibly reduced incidents considerably.
Local communities especially benefit from using social media as the friend networks link to each other and news of incidents, school closures or cancelled events can be shared very quickly. How different from only 25 years ago when you had local TV reports to watch and radio reports to listen to, many of which were out of date by hours.
When extreme weather events cause chaos in our lives whether through travel, power cuts or more, social media can let us and others know what is happening and what help is available on a minute by minute basis. It is a modern day port in a storm, a place where communities can come together to keep each other informed.
So join local pages on Facebook, check hashtags on Twitter so that when you need information, you have it available at the touch of a button. With Twitter feeds and Facebook pages from the Police, Fire Brigade, Electricity, Roads and Local News the information is out there, all you have to do is have a look.