The fearful weather reports about Hurricane Gustav did not persuade Sheila Moragas to leave Old Jefferson, a suburb just west of New Orleans. It was the 38-year-old mother’s dwindling ranks of online friends on the micro-blogging network Twitter.
One by one, Twitterers with nicknames like “HumidCity,” “DomesticKitty” and “NOLADawn” pulled up stakes Sunday and left south Louisiana, live-blogging the building drama through text messages on their laptops, home computers and cell phones.
“It’s been helpful,” Moragas said. “It’s less hyperbole, more reliable. There’s also a lot of people panicking, but it’s neighborly. It feels like you’re talking to your next-door neighbors and trying to say, ‘What’s the best thing to do?’ ”
At noon Sunday, Moragas, known as “NOLAnotes” to her followers on Twitter, decided the wisest option was to leave, abandoning the New Orleans area in advance of a massive hurricane for the second time in three years.
This story makes me wonder how differently disasters such as Heat Wave, and the pattern of humans coping with disasters, might be in the future.