Social Media Comes to the Rescue in the Wellington Floods

5m ago @CallahanMusic_ tweeted: “Just a shout out to the people affected ..” – read what others are saying and join the conversation.

Source: twitter.com

One of the great things about communities is how they rally together in times of need. Yesterday there were serious floods on the approaches and throughout the Wellington region (as well as Taranaki which had a tornado last night to add to the excitement). Hashtags, such as #WellingtonFlood (follow the link above) have popped up sharing information on Twitter in real time and the same has happened on Facebook .

Whilst the roads are open, rail services have been cancelled because of slips and flooding, they will not be replaced with buses for safety reasons and the NZ Transport Agency is asking people to reconsider travel today if it is not essential in both Taranaki and the Wellington region.

Sites quickly popped up on Twitter and Facebook last night with hundreds of people and organizations offering accommodation and shelter for people who were unable to get home. Even the Wellington public library opened last night for people who were stuck after all of the hotels in town reported to be full.

Traffic Operations Control Centers, Contractors and Emergency Services have been working throughout the night and there are a wide range of services available from the NZ Transport Agency. These include regional Twitter and Facebook accounts, FREE email route and area alerts, webcams, traffic times, Highway Info pages advising road closures and much more. Here are links to these .

The Agency welcomes engagement on the real time traffic social media sites, including pictures and information you would like to share. The NZ Transport Agency has 7 Twitter pages and 5 Facebook pages providing information for the regions of New Zealand.

Most heartwarming to me were the many offers of help, people inviting total strangers into their homes, offers of free food from cafes and restaurants and other assistance. They don’t have a lot of disasters in Wellington, although it is on the earthquake fault zone, but when they do, it is great to see the resilience and support of the community.

I have frequently blogged about readiness for disaster, especially around earthquakes  and having emergency kits . The thing is that most people don’t think it will happen to them. Then of course it does and access to even simple things like fresh drinking water can be an issue. For those who have been through this latest incident, it would be great for them to share what they ran out of, or what they needed. You might not want to invest in sandbags, but food, water, gas, torches, battery powered radio are a few examples of essentials. Are you ready?

Disclaimer: I work for the NZ Transport Agency. All opinions expressed in my blogs are my own and do not purport in any way to reflect policy or opinions of the Agency.

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About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
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