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10 Ways to Use Patch During the Hurricane

We’ve got the community covered … with your help.

As Tropical Storm Irene approaches Tewksbury, the need for up-to-the minute info is even more important. At Patch, we are working around-the-clock to cover the storm, but as with of our reporting, the more interaction we get from users the more comprehensive our coverage will be.

Tewksbury Patch is as much your site as it is ours.

Here’s how you can use Patch to help paint the local picture of the event.

1. Get the news. When we know about storm-related news, so will you. From important town and village announcements, damages, power outages and floods, we’ll have all the news covered 24-7. Refresh the homepage often, we move fast.

2. Comment. If you have relevant information to add to an article, jump in and make a comment. We’ll follow up and likely add it to the article. These storm stories will continue to evolve as we speak to more officials and locals. You can be a real-time source by commenting.

3. Connect with the local editor. Bill Gilman's email address (williamg@patch.com)and phone number (978-413-8265) are available for readers Use them. If you have tips, call, e-mail or more often text to conserve cell phone power.

4. Follow us on Twitter. Before we write an article we tweet the news out to our followers. Want the info the fastest way possible, follow @tewksburypatch.

5. Get the iPhone app. If the power goes out, your smartphone may end up being your only tool for getting the info on what’s going on in your community. Click here to get the Patch app for free on iTunes. Not only can you read news on it, but post photos and videos as well.

6. Take photos. Please, stay indoors if you plan to wait out the storm. But any photos you take of the aftermath we’d prominently display on your Patch. Email them to your local editor or upload them directly to articles.

7. Shoot videos. Same goes for video. Our smartphones have put high-powered video cameras in our pockets. Send clips our way to help us report on the effect of Irene in your backyards.

8. Ask a question. If trees are down in your neighborhood but you want to know if your neighbors a few blocks away have the same damage, or if you want to ask someone in a flood-prone area how they waterproofed their house, use our Q&A feature. Questions normally surround natural events like a hurricane. You can look to your community for answers. If no one responds, be sure we’ll get the answer for you.

9. Ask for Volunteers. Our Announcements section lets readers post requests for volunteers. Use it. Depending on the scope of the storm, volunteers are going to be crucial to mend the community. Any Volunteers Needed announcements posted on the site we will feature prominently on the home page.

10. Blog about it. When all settles, scores of your fellow community members will have “I was there” stories to share. Don’t keep them to yourself. Sign up to be a blogger and let your neighbors know how you held up during the storm.

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