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Faster Forward
Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 08/24/2011

Facebook offers emergency prep advice from FEMA


Hurricane Irene approaches the Bahamas on Aug. 23, 2011. (HO - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Shaken by the Virginia earthquake? Worried about Irene?

Facebook’s got you covered. In what turned out to be a prescient scheduling choice, the social network is asking officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, the National Weather Service and the Red Cross to give advice Wednesday on its DC Live channel.

Those interested in participating can watch the event live and submit questions.

Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter again proved to be in­cred­ibly useful in a dire situation, as East Coast residents unaccustomed to quakes reacted to the 5.8 shakeup Tuesday and overwhelmed cellphone networks.

As The Washington Post reported, both sites saw posts about the quake spike to record levels. Within four minutes, Facebook said the term “earthquake” showed up in the statuses of 3 million users, while Twitter reported it saw more than 40,000 earthquake-related tweets within a minute of the quake.

And some reported they read about the quake before they felt it — making the author of one of my favorite webcomics,xkcd, look pretty smart as well.

If you can’t tune into Facebook, check out the Post’s tips on how to prepare for Hurricane Irene, and, if you’d like, instructions on how to prepare for the next earthquake.

(Washington Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

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Capital Weather Gang: Hurricane Irene — Are you prepared?

Earthquake shakes up D.C. office workers’ orderly routines

By  |  03:04 PM ET, 08/24/2011

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