Amidst all of the bad press that Atlanta got this week, maybe you missed the good. And that is that Atlanta residents are among the most neighborly. While our elected officials couldn’t grasp what to do, the residents did. Retailers opened their doors to offer respite to weary drivers that had been on the road going nowhere for hours. Neighbors opened their homes to strangers providing warm shelter and a place to sleep until they could return to their own homes. Others helped push vehicles up hills, pick up children stranded at schools, and provide updates and information on social media.
We get to change our elected officials every time their term is up, but we don’t always get a say on who our neighbors are. But it appears that we are better at selecting neighborhoods than politicians. Because when all is said and done, our neighbors were there for us online and in real life.
New friendships were formed during the Atlanta storm that will last far longer than the memory of what happened here. And while many would think that the stranded travelers would spend the evening complaining, they did not. They shared their stories, listening and yes, laughing, about what they had been through.
So what was different this time? Much like the #ATLFLOOD a few years ago, we now have social media. We have community Facebook pages and Twitter. Faster than the media stations can update the public, residents already know what is going on. They found out from their neighbors. Some residents were able to get home with the help of their navigation system offering new routes around the traffic. Other residents were able to stay in touch with their family and friends via their smartphones.
Technology has enabled us to “weather” the storms, but so have our neighbors.