This post was first published by Steph Jackman on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
On Monday, the North East was struck by Hurricane Sandy, leaving millions without power, 40 dead on the East Coast so far, and the cost of property damage and lost business potentially reaching $20 billion.
Many have stepped up to the plate to help, offering services to those affected by the natural disaster. Google, for example, launched ‘Public Alerts‘ on Maps and Search.Public Alerts show relevant weather and public safety alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. And, with targeted Google Searches and location-based search terms, users are lead to a page with weather and flooding updates for that particular region. The page also includes a map, recommended actions, evacuation routes, crisis maps and shelter locations.
Other major U.S. brands also did their best to keep citizens informed during the storm. On Sunday evening, the New York Times removed the pay wall from both their Web site and apps so that readers could gain up-to-the minute news on the storm, free of charge. Wall Street Journal and Newsday soon followed suite by removing their pay walls, and allowing real-time coverage of Sandy to take precedence over other news stories.
While the devastation is far from over, and many are still left in the dark, it’s encouraging to see companies offering services in any way they can. What about you? Do you have any examples of companies pitching in to show their support for Hurricane Sandy victims?