VIDEO: San Jose woman uses social media to help friend in Florida who was trapped by rising floodwaters

 

SAN JOSE (KRON) — In the Bay Area, even though we are thousands of miles away from the devastation of Hurricane Irma, that didn’t stop a South Bay woman from helping a friend in Florida, who was trapped by rising floodwaters.

She did it using social media.

She was able to contact search-and-rescue teams in Daytona Beach, who then swung into action to save her friend.

Hannah Brown used to live in Daytona Beach, Florida. This past weekend, she watched in horror as Hurricane Irma ripped through the state.

Then, early Monday morning, she received a text from her friend Kristina who still lives in Daytona Beach.

“It was nerve wracking,” Brown said.

Wanting to help, Hannah turned to social media.

“The only thing I thought I could do was go to Facebook and tell my friends, you know, ‘Is there anybody around?’ I know it’s not legal because of curfew but if you’re nearby, can you just go get her out,” Brown said. “Nobody can obviously do that, but the fire department, who I tweeted on Twitter, was already out there rescuing people”

A few hours later, search-and-rescue teams found Kristina and helped her move to safety.

The Daytona Beach Fire Department let Hannah know via Twitter:

“We were expecting this to take hours or maybe until morning, but it took 2 hours, and they were there, and then a few minutes after that, I got a Twitter response from the fire department of Dayton Beach saying, ‘We rescued your friend,’” Brown said.

Hannah says Kristina was able to return to her apartment later in the day on Monday but the homecoming was not an easy one.

“The apartment complex is condemning the building and giving her six days to get out…most of her stuff was ruined and her car was destroyed, so…” Brown said.

Hannah hopes that more emergency responders will embrace social media and use it as a tool to save lives.

“Paying more attention to Twitter when it comes to natural disasters and stuff, so they can see who’s really in need of rescue and get to them,” Brown said.

Finally, Hannah has also created a GoFundMe page to help Kristina rebuild her life.

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