NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hurricane Irene is the United States' first national disaster where people can prepare to connect with family and friends through several social media outlets.
Tuesday's earthquake in Virginia and April's tornadoes in Alabama showed that social media such as Twitter and Facebook can help deliver information faster than any other outlet.
Social media expert Bill Seaver told Nashville's News 2, “This is probably one of the bigger ones we've had in this country, but as you know, everything from plane crashes, natural disasters, are news via social media. This is no longer really that new for us. This is the mainstream.”
Facebook DC has launched a special page to keep people in the District of Columbia informed of emergency notifications. It has also hosted live video chats.
Twitter users are following the hashtag #irene for updates.
Skype is being used by family members to call and video chat with family members.
Google+ can be used to video chat with up to 10 people using 'hangouts'.