In Case of Emergency: 7 Sites and Tools To Get You Through Natural Disasters

I like to think of myself as a Hurricane veteran. Growing up in Miami – hurricane capital of the US – I slept through a lot of hurricanes, including Hurricane Andrew. So, when Hurricane Sandy planned a trip to NYC I rolled my eyes – until I heard that Sandy would bring friends.

After diligently preparing to be without power for at least a week, I waited for Sandy. When it became risky to watch from a window, I turned to the internet. Using a collection of sites and digital tools, I was able to get an amazing bird’s-eye and ground view of Hurricane Sandy. These sites are helpful resources for anyone affected by a storm and for support volunteers looking for ways to help.

For me, these sites were especially useful for staying aware of the state of the NYC and New Jersey after Sandy hit. These tools can and should be used in any emergency whether local, national, or international.

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Corvida’s First European Adventure: mLove, TEDGlobal and Culture

Corvida Raven at Arthur's Seat

From June 28 – July 16th, I had an incredible opportunity to travel overseas to three countries for the first time in my life. Berlin was my first stop for mLove, a mobile tech conference. Next, I spent time exploring Amsterdam and ended my travels in Scotland for TEDGlobal 2011.

My Travel Itinerary

Days of Travel: 20

  • Berlin, Germany: mLove
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Leisure
  • Scotland, United Kingdom: TEDGlobal 2011

Gadgets Used:

Mobile Apps:

  • Itinerary & Travel Plans: Tripit, AirBNB
  • Communication: Facetime, Skype, Moleskine Notebook
  • iPhone Maps: Fair InfoBerlin, City Maps 2 Go, uBahn

To keep this long adventure digestible, this post is broken down chronologically by city.

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Friends Outweighing Hatred On The Web

blog Last night, Wayne Sutton and I did a livestream Q&A via Yahoo! Live. Originally, we intended to do it via, however Wayne was have a few technical difficulties with the service only minutes before we were to go live. So, we made a switch to Yahoo! Live.

The conversation with Wayne was great, and initially so was the conversation with our supporters and some of our participants. However, as time wore on, anonymous users started to walk in and spew derogatory remarks all over the place. Louis Gray even caught a couple of screenshots of some of the comments. While it made it much harder for us to answer any questions our real audience might have had, Wayne just encouraged me to ignore them and try to stay focused on the conversation.


Why This Wasn’t Hard For Me

indifference I grew up in an impoverished neighborhood and I’ve seen racism and discrimination in many forms. I’m black, a female, and also a lesbian. That’s 3 ways to discriminate against me and I’ve experienced all three forms before I hit high school and 2 of them before I hit middle school. I’ve seen family members and friends harassed and killed by racist cops in my neighborhood. What happened in the chatroom is better than most of what I’ve experienced.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

A couple of hours after the livestream, Louis Gray and Cyndy Aleo-Carreira posted their thoughts on the situation and profusely apologized to both Wayne and I for having to endure that type of…hatred? Activity? I really don’t know what to call it. However I wish they wouldn’t apologize. I completely understand why they are apologizing and I’m honored and humbled by it. However, they weren’t the ones that caused this situation to happen.

Cyndy seems to feel guilty for not speaking up previously, however it’s not Cyndy’s duty to speak up. It’s nice, yes. However for me, it’s not necessary. You all came to the show, you sat through it with us till the very end and said numerous words of encouragement that I expressed my gratitude for in this video on Seesmic. That’s all I need. You shouldn’t apologize for the behavior of other people because they don’t reflect upon how I view you.


The Power Of Friends

community Those people in the chatroom were more annoying than anything because it prevented you all from conversing with Wayne and I. However, they didn’t personally affect me. I really appreciate you all speaking out. I appreciate the support and knowing that you were more disgusted than I was. I guess I’m used to it and I’ve seen much worse in my life. Honestly, I was surprised to see your posts because I had no intentions of making a similar posting. Why? It’s just not a new phenomenon for me.

However, it’s friends and peers like you two that make everything worth it at the end of the day. Your posts have really touched me and I just wanted to say not to worry about how I feel about it personally. I have people like you two standing behind me and that’s more powerful than any word that was stated in that chatroom. The words of my peers and friends will forever ring louder in my mind than any derogatory comment.

Once again, I appreciate the support I truly do. However, I hope you two never apologize to me for someone else’s actions because they don’t reflect upon you for one second.

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