Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How did you hear about the snow?

This past week has seen a lot of snow in Pittsburgh. That snow has caused a lot of headaches and will likely cause more (think about that ice in your downspouts that may pull pull away from your house)!

Be that as it may, we all heard, in one way or another, that the BIG snowfall was coming. I'm curious about how you learned about the impending snow storm and how you managed to communicate with others about it.

Were you listening to the radio? How about TV? Get any text messages? Phone calls? As a communication professional, I'm curious to know what media attracted and connected with you and where they may have failed.

Were you half way to work or school before you knew those places were closed? How did you get your updates? How do you think we could have communicated better?


  1. I heard about the storms through the local news on TV, radio and word of mouth. I feel that communications from school about closings were timely, and I heard about other closings/roadway conditions through Twitter. So far, I haven't found myself wandering in the snow with no place to go.

  2. I first heard about the upcoming snow storm through the news but wasn't worried too much because they commonly make a big deal about any amount of snow. I've learned to take their information with a grain of salt since they exaggerate. When CMU closed, I knew it must have been bad because they rarely close. CMU communicated through text, voicemail, email and on their website. My favorite way is through text because my phone is always near me. CMU did a good job communicating. I also check kdka and wtae websites for weather updates.

  3. Website alerts, email alerts, rss feeds, text alerts, website alerts, did I mention website alerts? And that was only my input queue! As far as my output queue, text messages, emails, online chat (facebook, google, twitter, jabber). Oh yes, did I mention online chat? LOL

    While the traditional local news at 6 allows meterologists to steal the show, the most current information is found on the web. As far as work closings, fortunately my employer (CMU) has an effective alerting system. As a subscriber I receive a call and an email alerting me to the current state of the unversity. And yet, I generally follow-up by checking... guess what? The CMU WEBSITE!
    Stay safe and warm.

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  5. Several days before the storm hit, the security and emergency services department at my job sent out email notifications to all employees. I naturally dismissed the warning signs because they send out the same notifications when it rains. I did not know how serious the storm was until my commute home on Friday evening. Thus, the reason why I was stranded somewhere over the weekend.

  6. I heard about the snow storm from my boyfriend, who in turn heard it from a co-worker. After the initial notification I kept up with my information by going to Since I am in currently (stuck, I might add) in Maryland, I've been communicating with friends of mine in Pittsburgh through text messages, e-mails, and phone calls about the weather situation up there. I've also been receiving e-mail alerts, specifically from CMU, to warn us about campus conditions and cancellations.

    Overall I think the communication has been solid and reliable. I've been hoping that they'd over-estimated this second blizzard to hit Maryland today, but unfortunately I'm learning to believe them when they say to expect another 10-20" of snow, because that estimate is just to high to fake.

  7. Prior to several feet of snow falling in the Pittsburgh area, I became aware of the impending snow storm through the television. It was difficult to determine the intensity of the storm prior to the start of the storm. Therefore, I knew it was necessary to have adequate communication throughout the storm.

    I had the opportunity of learning about the storm through e-mail alerts, news stations, and text message alerts. CMU communicated effectively to the students regarding the campus conditions and status of the university. I received e-mail messages from my employers providing necessary information regarding the state of emergency as it relates to my profession as a healthcare provider.

    Overall, I believe the through the news coverage, emails, and text messages I was well informed of the effects the snow was having on the city of Pittsburgh.

  8. I heard about it thought TV (WTAE,) blogs (mostly though RSS feeds,) emails, phone conversations, and websites.

    One thing that upset me was that Port Authority's website had a list of all the busses that were running on Sunday, one of which was the 28X. After waiting a while for the bus, I asked a 61B bus driver if the 28X was still running. She said it was never even planned to run for the day. I was not very happy after waiting out in the cold for a long time.

  9. I heard about the storm from my brother on Thursday. He lives in DC. My mother had come down from India last week to spend 3 weeks between the 2 of us. Both of them were going to get on to a flight on Friday evening to get here. On reading this online, he rescheduled her flight to Friday morning. This got her to Pittsburgh while he couldn't as his got cancelled that evening.
    Post hearing this from him, I kept track of all that was happening on tv. CMU also kept everyone alert through their regular emails and text messages.
    Overall, I think the media has done a great job of keeping everyone informed of, not just where they reside, but surrounding sreas as well.

  10. Not too long after that rascal Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and doomed us to six more weeks of winter, I sat at my favorite table facing the flat screen TV in the bar area of Café Amante enjoying a grilled chicken salad and a wine spritzer while engaging in my favorite spectator sport, people watching. It was after work on Thursday February 4, and I was killing time before my class that evening at Carnegie Mellon. Laisha, the bar maid, asked me from behind the bar if I minded if she changed the TV channel to the local news station. She said she was interested in hearing about the snow storm that was heading our way. This was the first that I heard of a snow storm, and I was interested as well. As she turned up the volume on the TV, audible sounds began to emerge from the mute flapping mouth of the TV weatherman. A possible two feet of snow, the weatherman said. I thought, this will add excitement to an otherwise boring winter.
    My husband picked me up after class, and we turned the radio on in the car to hear more about the snow storm. No doubt about it, we were in for a large snow fall beginning in the afternoon on Friday and continuing throughout the night. I decided that I would leave work early the next day to avoid the pending snow storm and ensuing traffic jam.
    At work on Friday, I nervously watched the clock. I remembered being stuck in town during heavy snow storms in the past, and I was determined not to let that happen this time. After getting the go ahead from my boss, I took the noon bus to Sarver. It was a good decision because the snow raced with me all the way to my destination. The roads were already covered when I got off the bus and into my car and headed home. After picking up some groceries, my husband and I turned on the TV for updates on the storm. A monster blizzard was on its way. We hunkered down for the night with anticipation of what we were going to wake up to the next morning.
    Early Saturday morning we looked out the window to discover a white world of snow which completely covered our little Corolla. Where is our car, I exclaimed? Snow drifts came all the way up to our porch. We were completely snowed in. I hurried to the TV and found out that our county was in a state of emergency. Mother Nature proved once again that she could wield her power over us mere mortals. Not to be discouraged, my husband dressed in his armor of sweaters and coat to fight the white monster outside our door. It took him all morning into the afternoon to clear the driveway of our sixty five acre farm with his snow blower. We decided, though foolishly, to go for a ride. The streets were deserted. Everything was closed. The snow had swallowed the world.
    One thing a winter storm can bring is the concern people have for each other. It was good to see people helping one another dig out of their driveways. We called my brother-in-law in West Virginia to discover that they had less snow. My mother-in-law called us to make sure we were okay. We were all forced to take it slow. The fast paced world took a deep breath and settled down for a needed break.
    After the weekend, I was like a kid in grade school. I get to work from home! With my trusty lap top, I received emails from my company and coworkers. Most people either worked from home or took vacation. Email delivered news from Carnegie Mellon about canceled classes, and news from work about office closings and early dismissals.
    As work crews cleared the roads, Mother Nature would not be outdone and waved her hand and conjured up more snow. Okay, enough already! We know we cannot fool Mother Nature. This is not fun anymore! I am getting cabin fever and feeling the first pangs of spring fever! I guess we can blame that ground hog for all this!