Hurricane Harvey Victims Are Using Snapchat to Keep Others Safe

Per the latest reports, Hurricane Harvey was responsible for at least five deaths as it has unleashed fury on the area of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. Since last Friday, there has been so much flooding that people who chose not to evacuate, or weren’t able to, have been trapped inside (or on top of) their homes.

While the damage is so bad for those stuck in the affected areas, many of us on the outside have no clue how bad it truly is. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the images we got from helicopters hovering over the flooded city of New Orleans were enough to make us aware of what was happening to an entire population. Landlines were down and there was no way out for the people who were trapped. You couldn’t call for assistance or reach family to tell them you were alright. Those living through Harvey are able to use technology to reach out to loved ones, and even ask for help.

Using Snapchat as a medium

People in the media are using Snapchat to get information out as well, it’s not just for the citizens of the area. Former CNN correspondent Peter Hamby, who is now over News at Snap, tweeted out the Snap Map of the Houston area. While the feature was put in place to keep up with your friends on a night out, the map in this case helps Snapchat users find friends or family that are also on the platform. This has been a great help to many during Hurricane Harvey.

Other users of the social media app have also documented their experiences on Snapchat to warn others of high water levels in certain areas and safer places to go. Some have also used the app to relay their disgust of the natural disaster overall.

Snap’s editors have begun loading events onto the map for users to watch videos or photos submitted by others that pertain to it. This is usually done for event like the “Anti-Racist” rally in San Francisco, or “The Fight” in Las Vegas over the weekend. When Hurricane Harvey hit, Snap saw a need to make people more aware of what’s really going on.

Users can access Snapchat’s map by either searching for a term like “Houston Flooding” to jump to the editor-curated story. They can also pinch their fingers onto the screen as if they are zooming in on an image, which will allow them to move around to find events on the map.

Here are some ways to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey

Donations to the Red Cross for those affected by Harvey can be made online or text HARVEY to 90999.

Donations to the Salvation Army can be made online.

Catholic Charities is accepting donations online or text CCUSADISASTER to 71777 to donate.

Airbnb is waiving all service fees for those affected by the disaster and checking in between Aug. 23 and Sept. 1.