Using social media to battle the storm

Determined women use internet to help family during Hurricane crisis

Shannon Gruhn's 18-year-old daughter, Amanda, lives in Palm Beach, Florida. Right in the path of Hurricane Irma.
 
She couldn't afford a flight out because ticket fees jumped to over a thousand dollars.  
 
Gas was hard to find, so Shannon turned to Facebook friends for help.  
 
"Oh my gosh the outpouring was amazing. I think i started to cry because everybody was trying to help," she said.  
 
A mutual friend saw Shannon's post and picked up Amanda on his way to Atlanta, where she caught a flight home.
 
Valerie Busic left Cleveland in 2002 for the sunny skies of Cape Coral. She's been through a few hurricanes and because of the intensity of Irma was ready to evacuate, but then the hurricane path moved a bit, so now she'll ride it out. She says evacuating is a lot easier said than done.
 
"We have a lot of kids and animals and there's no gas pretty much in the state of Florida. Anywhere from Tampa north they're out of gas so we would be stuck," she said. 
 
Today, she was on a quest for gasoline and water Most of the homes depend on electric pumps for water. Once they lose power, they won't have water so they're stocking up. But store shelves are empty of that and non perishable food items.
 
She said most people are hunkering down putting shutters on windows, important papers in Ziploc bags and filling sandbags to prevent flooding. The area is full of canals, but Busic says they were built to withstand a lot of drainage. 
 
Thanks to social media, she was able to find where gas and water was located.  She says it's been a staple during hurricanes when communication and power go out as a way to check in with family and friends and ask for help. 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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