Social networking and disasters

Our world is interconnected like never before. Talk about degrees of separation! With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the other social networking sites, I’d be willing to bet I could get a message to just about anyone I wished within say a day or so. This is not inherently a bad thing. Being connected like this allows us to keep on top of world events as well as developments in our own little neighborhoods.

These various sites also allow us to network with others of like mind very easily. While we might find it difficult to find preppers living next door or down the street, we can still brainstorm and kick ideas around with literally thousands of others across the planet, with nothing more than the click of a mouse.

The downside is we perhaps communicate too much. Many people out there are so enmeshed into social networking that they feel it is necessary to update their Facebook status every time they move from one room to another…flush the toilet…or blink.

While communication is important during and after an emergency, such as the earthquake that hit the US east coast yesterday, I’d suggest you update your Facebook and Twitter AFTER you have evacuated the building and are in a safe area. Countless people took to the various social networking sites yesterday with posts like, “Just told we are evacuating.” To be a little blunt, these people are idiots. If you’re told you need to evacuate your building, GET OUT! Don’t take even an extra minute to tell all 1500 of your Facebook friends first. Just go and worry about that later.

It is truly sad that this has become a real sign of the times:

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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