During this week’s Winter Storm that caused bridges to be closed due to ice, schools to be closed due to icy roads, and government office closings among other things I found Twitter to be an excellent source of up to date information, particularly on my smartphone. Unlike Facebook, which sometimes filters things out and may go into “Top Stories” mode on you at any given time, Twitter stays in chronological order with (depending upon what client you’re using) the most recent information at the top.
Even if you don’t want to engage on Twitter, it still might be a good idea to create an account so you can follow various governmental agencies, news media, and other good sources of information during times of weather events or emergencies. As long as your smartphone has a data connection, you’ll be able to receive tweets containing information about the weather, road closures, government announcements and other information that you may find useful. Following is a list of Twitter accounts that I found particularly useful this week:
Department of Transportation: Responsible for the highways in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Transportation provided good updates on which bridges and highways were not passable. These are four of their accounts that I follow for information on the Coastal Georgia area.
- Georgia Department of Transportation – @GADeptofTrans – Georgia DOT provided good information on road and bridge closings that you could use to alter travel and commute plans and provided advisories on what could be expected.
- Georgia Department of Transportation Southeast – @GeorgiaDOTSE – Georgia DOT Southeast is a relatively new account and wasn’t used much during the last week but I would expect to see it used in the future to provide information specific to the 24 counties of southeast Georgia, including the cities of Brunswick and Savannah.
- I-16 Across Georgia – @GDOT_I16 – This account provides traffic information specifically for I-16, one of the 3 interstates in the Coastal Georgia area.
- I-95 Across Georgia – @GDOT_I95 – This account provides traffic information specifically for I-95, one of the 3 interstates in the Coastal Georgia area.
National Weather Service: Two National Weather Service offices cover Coastal Georgia. The northern half of the area is covered by the National Weather Service office in Charleston, SC and the southern half of the area is covered by the National Weather Service office in Jacksonville, FL. Both offices are very active on Twitter, sending out watches, warnings, forecasts, and other interesting and useful weather information.
- National Weather Service Charleston, SC – @NWSCharlestonSC – NWS Charleston covers Jenkins, Screven, Candler, Bulloch, Effingham, Tatnall, Evans, Bryan, Chatham, Long, Liberty, and McIntosh Counties in Southeast Georgia. If you live or regularly travel through any of these, their Twitter account is an excellent one to follow.
- National Weather Service Jacksonville, FL – @NWSJacksonville – NWS Jacksonville covers Coffee, Jeff Davis, Bacon, Appling, Wayne, Atkinson, Ware, Pierce, Brantley, Glynn, Echols, Clinch, Charlton, and Camden Counties in Southeast Georgia. If you live or regularly travel through any of these, their Twitter account is an excellent one to follow.
Emergency Management Agencies: Emergency Management Agencies are making use of Twitter to send out messages and information prior to and during emergencies. In the Coastal Georgia area, I know that Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan Counties are using Twitter for this purpose.
- Chatham Emergency Management Agency – @ChathamEMA
- Effingham Emergency Management Agency – @EffinghamEMA
- Bryan Emergency Management Agency – @BryanCountyEMA
Law Enforcement Agencies are also making use of Twitter to get information out to the public and not only during emergencies. They also use it to pass along information on criminals they’re looking for, and information on crashes closing or slowing local roads. These are the three Coastal Georgia agencies that I know are on Twitter and all three are very active:
- Savannah Chatham Municipal PD – @scmpd
- Effingham County SO – @ECSOSheriff
- Brunswick PD – @brunswickgapd
The News Media is very active on Twitter and of course they are all an excellent source of news and information during weather events and emergencies. These are the ones I follow:
- Savannah Morning News – @SavannahNOW
- WSAV – @WSAV
- WTOC – @WTOC11
- Southeast Georgia Radio – @SegarD30427 – SEGAR is a unique entity in the Coastal and Southeast Georgia area. Not officially a media organization, they aggregate news from various sources and followers on Facebook and Twitter including online scanner feeds and pass it along via social media.
If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, you can use it via their website or the Tweetdeck app on your computer. Using your smartphone or tablet, you can use Twitter via their app or using a number of third party apps. My preferences are Tweetdeck on the computer and the Plume app on my smartphone (android).