With Hurricane Sandy almost certain to bring flooding and high winds this week, the need for up-to-the minute info is even more important. At Patch, we will be working around-the-clock to cover the storm, but as with all of our reporting, the more interaction we get from users the more comprehensive our coverage will be.
So in wake of Sandy, here’s how you can use Patch to help paint the local picture of the event.
1. Get the news. When we know about storm-related news, so will you. From important town and state announcements, damages, power outages and floods, we’ll have all the news covered 24/7. Refresh the homepage often, we move fast.
2. Sign up for the newsletter. Get breaking news and updates delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for the free newsletter here.
3. Connect with the local editor. Northampton Patch Editor Jesseka Kadylak plans to be available throughout the storm and in the aftermath. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 215-268-2031.
4. Follow us on Twitter. We frequently tweet news and important links out to followers. Want the info the fastest way possible, follow @nhamptonpatch use hashtag #sandypa.
5. Comment. If you have relevant information to add to an article, jump in and post a comment. We’ll follow up and likely add it to the article. These storm stories will continue to evolve as we speak to more officials and locals. You can be a real-time source by commenting.
6. Take photos. Please, stay indoors if you plan to wait out the storm. But any photos or videos you take of the aftermath we’d prominently display on your Patch. Upload photos directly to articles.
7. Closings/Postponements. If you're shutting down your business due to Hurricane Sandy, or are postponing an event, shoot an email over to editor Jesseka at email@example.com and include the closing and expected re-opening times, and we'll let your customers and participants know. You can also post your note directly in an article as a comment.
8. Blog about it. When all settles, scores of your fellow community members will have “I was there” stories to share. Don’t keep them to yourself. Sign up to be a blogger on this site and let your neighbors know how you held up during the storm.
9. Get the iPhone app. If the power goes out, your smartphone may end up being your only tool for getting the info on what’s going on in your community. Click here to get the Patch app for free on iTunes. Not only can you read news on it, but post photos and videos as well.
10. Ask for Volunteers. Our Announcements section lets readers post requests for volunteers. Use it. Depending on the scope of the disaster, volunteers could be crucial to mend the community. Any Volunteers Needed announcements posted on the site we will feature prominently on the home page.