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Justin Auciello (Jersey Shore Hurricane News)

Justin Auciello is an urban planner and digital journalist. Understanding the power of social media during a crisis, he created Jersey Shore Hurricane News, a Facebook- and Twitter-based news platform, in advance of Hurricane Irene in 2011. A native of South Seaside Park, New Jersey, Justin knew that residents needed an outlet to both receive and contribute crucial information before, during, and after a storm. Though Hurricane Irene did not inflict widespread damage in the state, Superstorm Sandy caused catastrophic damage, especially in New Jersey's shore areas. The outlet was widely utilized by New Jersey residents for accurate news reports, crowdsourced information about food, water, gas, and shelter, and deliveries of supplies and assistance to people in need. Most importantly, the platform was used by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to communicate with people requesting rescue from the storm surge, as 911 was overloaded.

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