As John Teets and I wind down our coverage of Hurricane Irma, we know many of our followers want to stay connected to the latest news and updates. We’ve gathered what we consider the best, most reliable and most credible sources, many of which we relied on over the past two weeks.
Our links take you to the websites or Facebook pages we consider worthy of bookmarking and following. A few tips for for efficiently tapping into those sources:
- Click the link to the page in which your interested.
- Like the page.
- Follow the page. This helps ensure you see posts from the source. Facebook doesn’t share everything every page posts. Following the page improves your chances of seeing posts.
- Choose “see first in news feed.” This helps Facebook know you want to see posts from this page near the top of your news feed. It’s not perfect, but it helps.
- Choose “most recent” rather than “top stories” in your news feed. You’ll find that button on the top left corner of your news feed page on laptops. Use the drop-down menu to choose. And, check it frequently, because Facebook often allows it to revert to the default “top stories.” On mobile devices, use the top-right “hamburger” button to call up your personal menu. Scroll down to feeds and select “most recent.”
- You can always see the entire feed from a page by visiting the page directly.
- Click the link to the website.
- Bookmark it for easy return.
Our choices for best news sources
Monroe County Board of County Commissioners: Hands-down, the best source of information. Commissioner Heather Carruthers was an amazing resource during and after Hurricane Irma. Her posts were often found in this Facebook page, especially because the county itself was not posting timely information. Now, the county is using the page for consistent, reliable updates.
Commissioner Sam Kaufman: Sam Kaufman continues to post updates to his Facebook page. Without Sam we’d have been hard-pressed to know what was happening in the city during and after the storm. Sam was posting even when the city itself was not.
104.1 FM Radio: The awesome, tireless professionals at US 1 Radio were the only source of news and information for those who remained on-island during the storm. Their relentless 24-7 coverage was nothing short of jaw-dropping. The link is to their Facebook Page, but we’d suggest listening in via internet.
Gwen Filosa: Gwen is a reporter for The Reporter and The Keynoter newspapers and Florida Keys News. She stayed on the job during and after the storm using extensive social media platforms and contacts for strong coverage. She was among the first journalists to post video and Live Facebook feeds from the Keys and Key West. Gwen had access to official sources. Her reporting is also appearing in the Miami Herald.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Department: Sheriff Rick Ramsay used his personal government page to keep folks updated on law enforcement efforts. Rick was the best source for credible information that dispelled rumors coming from other pages.
National Weather Service Key West: These folks posted via social media virtually 24-7 as Hurricane Irma barrelled toward and through the Keys and Key West. As our first and primary source of news and information from Key West, we are grateful to the men and women who reported live from White Street.
Keys Energy Services: Not only did Keys Energy do a smashing job of restoring power to Key West, they also used their social media accounts and radio appearances to keep folks connected and up to date.
Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority: As with Keys Energy, FKAA did an awesome job of social media connections — and getting the water turned on.
Keys Recovery: Launched several days after the storm, the Keys Recovery website is a repository for Monroe County’s news releases regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The county says it is the official source for information. It does provide a list of links to sources for disaster aid, volunteering and contributions. We used this website occasionally after the storm, although it was not a primary source. We recommend it here because its content may get stronger over the next weeks.
City of Key West: The city’s Facebook page is finally posting consistent and credible updates.
Florida Keys Mosquito Control District
Monroe County Fire and Rescue Department
Volunteer Florida: How to volunteer most effectively to assist Hurricane Irma victims.
Comprehensive Hurricane Irma recovery assistance from the feds. Excellent one-stop source.
FEMA disaster assistance: General information
Apply for FEMA disaster assistance