FDNY Twitter Response During Sandy Illustrates New Reach Of Social Media

The FDNY Twitter response during the worst of what was then called Hurricane Sandy is an interesting look into what may be a new frontier for first responders in best assessing how to respond and assess the situation during a catastrophe.

The FDNY Twitter is first and foremost a totally new venture — and one the department is very quick to say should never replace calling 911 dispatchers in the event of an emergency.

But when Sandy began to create historic flooding within the five boroughs of NYC, the FDNY Twitter response seemed not only manage to reach those unable to make calls, but also disperse timely updates to Twitter users who may have been in need of information — all without tying up phone lines best reserved for emergencies.

FDNY Social Media Manager Emily Rahimi is a seven-year vet of the city’s fire department, and Rahimi was responding through the worst of it, advising New Yorkers on how best to handle the threats Sandy posed while urging them to still put calls out to emergency services when possible.

More than 52,000 New Yorkers were able to access the FDNY Twitter response via the department’s feed, and general information posted to the account included these tweets:


Have you accessed local emergency information Twitter accounts like the one used by the FDNY? Have you found them helpful in a crisis?