Social Plays a Big Role in Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

This past weekend, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the southern United States, hitting Texas the hardest. Houston, Dallas and surrounding areas became flooded as the storm hit, leaving much of the population to evacuate or find shelter within the city.In true millennial fashion, many took to the Internet in search of relief or ways to help those in need.  Hurricane Harvey is the biggest to hit the US since Hurricane Katrina in 2008, but after the rise of social, many have found it easier to spread the word about relief efforts online.  Many Texas residents were tweeting that about being stuck in their homes, with their supplies of food and fresh water depleting.

"Hundreds of stranded Texas residents sought help on Sunday by posting on Facebook and Twitter. They tweeted their addresses to emergency officials. They organized rescue missions through Facebook groups. And they posted harrowing pictures to emphasize just how high the flood waters were.

Requests for rescues were common: "Anyone in North Houston have a boat and can rescue a 3 &6 yo, mom, gramma and grandpa and 2 dogs?"

Some particularly web-savvy officials responded to the requests nearly in real time.We have seen this kind of web-enabled emergency response in other countries before, but never in the United States on this scale.In fact, the last time a "major" hurricane made landfall, in 2005, Twitter didn't even exist. (The U.S. government defines a "major" hurricane as a Category 3 or higher storm.)" - CNN MoneyCelebrities took to their social channels to ask that their followers get involved with the relief efforts. 

!!!!! #hurricaneharvey !!!!! Sending love to Texas

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on

Many were even taking the time to share uplifting videos to keep themselves in good spirits as they wait for relief efforts.  Those in the local Houston area offered their help and services to those in need, and their extended Facebook/Twitter/Instagram "family" helped to amplify the message. 

If you'd like to donate, please find just a few of the foundations that are providing relief to the victims of Hurricane Harvey:Save The ChildrenHurricane Harvey Relief FundGeneral Relief