Following the massive, deadly tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., Sunday night, local newspaper The Joplin Globe turned to Facebook to try to connect survivors with their families and friends.
The paper created Facebook page Joplin, Mo., Tornado Survivors, encouraging residents to post and alert others that they were safe, as well as allowing users to post inquiries about residents they hadn’t been able to establish contact with, Poynter reported.
Citizens of the stricken city also launched similar pages on the social network, according to Poynter, including Joplin MO People Lost & Found Tornado 5/22/2011, Joplin’s Loved Ones, and Joplin Tornado Citizen Checks (neighbors helping neighbors).
Joplin Globe enterprise editor Scott Meeker told Poynter:
It’s heart-wrenching. It’s a lot of individual stories, and a lot of them are not going to end happily.
It just took off almost immediately. We were getting inundated with families requesting information or trying to get out information for their loved ones.
I’ve been the admin on our Facebook page for a little over a year. It didn’t really hit me until now the power that social media can have in times of crisis.