Hurricane Irene and the True Meaning of Networking

This blog looks at networking as it is meant to be.

It has been several days since Hurricane Irene hit New Jersey.  While the New Jersey coastline was severely damaged in many spots, at the last minute Irene veered to the left and caused major havoc in central and northern NJ, NY, and New England.  Before she started blowing and while we still had our electricity, I joined a Facebook group called the Jersey Shore Hurricane Group; a group created by three men who provide "up-to-the-minute news and original analysis to keep you informed during the approach of tropical systems.” The Jersey Shore Hurricane group grew to over 25,000 and many of the members have joined the conversation and contributed the kind of instant detail that can't be found on TV or the radio.

 I also made sure to check on the Long Branch/West Long Branch Patch Facebook group and was able to see the updates from the other Patch news services that were close to my home.  Years ago this wouldn’t have been possible.

Throughout the storm I looked to these groups for information about the current weather conditions, flooded neighborhoods and lightning strikes.  Then, when our power went out and I switched to my Blackberry, I learned that my downtown had flooded and evacuations had started.  Here it is four days  later and I am still reading real time reports about road closures and detours, lost pets, water stations, member clothing donations, evacuation center needs, locations where the power has been restored and many stories of neighbor helping neighbor. 

This, in my opinion is the true definition of networking; listening, sharing, responding and commenting.  It is helping someone else by providing information that you know they need and can immediately use.  It is giving without expecting to receive something in return.  It is in essence, the very "human" part of human nature. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Silver dollar September 05, 2011 at 05:46 PM
The patches were my best source of information during and after the storm . Thank you . Thank you . Thank you . patch
WheresTheBallot September 05, 2011 at 06:03 PM
I 100% agree. The coverage was amazing.
Nancy Range Anderson September 07, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Me too! It's so different now than just a few years ago thanks to outlets such as the Patch!
John Hayes September 07, 2011 at 02:01 PM
The Patches provided excellent, up-to-date information and especially photos so we could keep track of things at our shore place as well as at home. Thanks for a great community service.
Tim O'Connor September 07, 2011 at 02:23 PM
Thank you Lacey Patch for your coverage. This is the way of the future and Lacey Police need to have an information Officer assigned to provide accurate information, real time.


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