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Skype, Facebook help loved ones connect during Hurricane Sandy

11:30 PM, Oct 29, 2012   |    comments
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I normally write my articles in third person, but Hurricane Sandy made an impact on many East Tennesseans Monday. So, I want to give you a small taste of what this superstorm has done to my family.

For the millions of people living in the path of Hurricane Sandy, they know their homes could be flooded, they could deal with incredibly strong winds, or inches of snow.

My family: all three scenarios.

A few years ago, getting in touch with loved ones meant a phone call. However, we're now in the age of social media with the tools of Skype, Facebook, and Twitter in our disposal. On Monday, these avenues were used by many to reach out and make sure loved ones were safe from Sandy's strong smack in the northeast.

I was no exception with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents near Toms River, N.J., just north of Sandy's landfall, and my parents in Bridgeport, W.Va., where the storm is expected to leave inches of snow.

Using Skype, I was able to see that my cousins, Shayna and Luke Butera, were safe, despite being so close to the shore and the potential for flooding.

"We saw the beach go up to the boardwalk, and the ocean is meeting the bay right now," said my cousin Luke.

They told me about their family's preparations for the storm ahead, "We got batteries, flashlights, candles. We prepared beds downstairs in the basement just in case," Luke added.

Not long after, I was able to see what Sandy is preparing to do to my home state of West Virginia. Again, using Skype, my parents were able to communicate about how they're getting ready for a possible foot of snow.

"It's important to maintain some sort of communication with you guys, we know when you're doing and you know what we're doing.... and we can always reach out," my dad, Steve, said.

Still, it's how my family, like so many families across the country are keeping tabs on each other and waiting for what Sandy will do.

How are you keeping in touch with your loved ones during Hurricane Sandy? Feel free to share your stories with us in the comments section.

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