Frankenstorm

If You Lose Internet, You Can Still Text Sandy Updates to SandyFeed

New tool created by a Redditor helps those in Sandy's path stay in communication.
screen shot 2012 10 29 at 1 35 55 pm1 If You Lose Internet, You Can Still Text Sandy Updates to SandyFeed

(Screencap: SandyFeed)

As soon as word of Hurricane Sandy began to spread, Reddit immediately sprung into action, creating the r/Sandy subreddit which now boasts over 3,000 readers. The forum is full of pictures of storm damage, eery tips and of course memes. But one particular post caught our eye: a Redditor named KillerKittenMittens created a site that may be helpful to those attempting to communicate messages about Sandy to the web should their wifi or cell phone data plans go out.

SandyFeed uses Twilio to allow users to send text messages to a number, which will then automatically show up on the feed. The user’s phone number won’t appear, just their area code to help indicate where exactly they’re sending the message from. “I figured many will lose power/internet but luckily may have cellphone service,” wrote KillerKittenMittens. He also added the ability for users to call and leave a voicemail, a recording of which is also instantly added to the site.

The service is free for anyone to use. Once KillerKittenMittens let Twilio know what he was doing, the company credited his account so he didn’t have to spend any money running the site. “Standard texting/calling (if you call in recordings) rates do apply though, just like your calling your friend or family. It’s a new york area code,” he wrote.

This could be a helpful tool for anyone whose internet goes out, but of course, the site has its fair share of trolls. “Sandy ripped off my bedazzled pink fedora and got mud on my butt plug :(” read one message. Can’t wait to see that show up on the CNN Sandy scroll.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com