Snowed Out Atlanta Facebook page is helping people to communicate while they are stranded.
If you’ve been on social media or watched the news or read a daily publication in the last 24 hours, you know that Atlanta is at a standstill. They only received 2.3 inches of snow, but when 1 Million people all want to leave the city at the same time as all of the schools are releasing students (early) and all businesses were closing and all federal workers were headed home and all daycares were closing…..well, you get the picture.
I lived in Atlanta for 10 years and still think of it as my second home. I lived in Lawrenceville, Northeast of downtown Altanta, and commuted to either Buckhead (just north of downtown Atlanta) or downtown Atlanta. On a good day, my commute would be 1 hour in each direction. On a bad day with rain or before a holiday, my commute would be up to two hours. I know how bad the traffic can be. The point of this post is not to place blame on who was a fault, there are plenty of other online and offline publications that are addressing that aspect.
What I’m focusing on is how amazingly helpful social media was in this situation. We all know that many people communicate via social media on a daily basis, whether it be a Facebook status to let friends & family know what’s going on or a tweet about something as mundane as celebrity gossip. Many of us use social media as part of our daily lives. What sometimes gets missed however, is how amazing and useful it can be when something like complete gridlock in Atlanta happens.
Of course, people who were stuck were Facebook, tweeting and instgramming about the situation. However, one or two people took it upon themselves to create a group called SnowedOutAtlanta. It was created at some point yesterday and now has almost 50,000 members. This group was created to so that people could post if they were stranded and needed help or they could post that they were able to help. I saw a news report where a woman was stuck on I75 for 14 hours, but via this group was able to find another person stuck in the same area. They decided to huddle together in one car and keep each other company throughout the night. In another story, a pregnant woman was able to find help via this group. People were opening up their homes to others who were stranded, all by this group.
What started out as one group, has now grown to several smaller group divided by geography (Atlanta is a big city) because the thinking is that a bunch of smaller groups are probably better than one big group.
I love to see people put social media to good use. Kudos to the ladies that created this group and helped countless people.