Weathering the Storm with Resident Feedback Data

As cities and counties around the country deal with severe weather, Zencity is here to help. Click the weather icons to reveal the data insights we provided to our partners based on their residents' organic feedback.

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West Coast (6)

California

fire

Fire

September 3rd, 2020

fire

Fire

August 27th, 2020

fire

Fire

August 26th, 2020

fire

Fire

August 26th, 2020

fire

Fire

August 24th, 2020

fire

Fire

August 20th, 2020

Mountain Plains (3)

Texas

fire

Hurricanes Laura and Marco

August 26th, 2020

fire

Hurricane Hanna

August 6th, 2020

fire

Flood

June 11th, 2020

Midwest (2)

Iowa

fire

Storm

August 27th, 2020

llinois

fire

Storm

August 12th, 2020

Southeast (3)

North Carolina

fire

Hurricane Isaias

August 5th, 2020

Louisiana

fire

Storm

July 29th, 2020

Mississippi

fire

Hurricanes Laura and Marco

September 3rd, 2020

Northeast (1)

Massachusetts

fire

Flood

July 1st, 2020

Legend:
storm Storm
Hurricane Hurricane
Flood Flood
Fire Fire


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West Coast (1/6)
Zencity insight
California California
fire Fire

Though discourse about the LNU Lightning Complex Fires dropped by 37% in this California city, residents were still engaging with updates. Zencity data showed that the discourse had shifted to focus on displays of solidarity and support by the community.

September 3rd, 2020

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

LNU Lightning Complex Fires: Discourse volume gradually drops and positive sentiment increases, mostly as a result of displays of solidarity and expressions of gratitude

As noted in the previous insight, interest in the LNU Lightning Complex fires was very high, making up most of the discourse in the city. In the days since (August 21 - September 2), volume discourse gradually dropped.

108,956 interactions about this issue were recorded during this time period. While the issue was still a central topic of discussion in the city, discourse volume dropped by 37% in the past week and a half.

Alongside a drop in volume, positive sentiment actually increased - from 5% to 20%. This spike in positive sentiment around the fires was the result of displays and solidarity and support by the community - extended to firefighters as well as to those affected by the fires. In addition, positive sentiment was inspired by appreciation and gratitude for the tireless efforts of the city’s first responders and city crews.

Overall, while residents are still engaged and are keeping updated on the fires, the discourse is shifting to focus on the community, specifically on the strength of the community in coming together to recover.

Zencity insight
California California
fire Fire

When major fires spread in this California county, its team was constantly providing updates and instructions on multiple channels. Data revealed that residents were voicing issues regarding the County’s website, the frequency of updates, and questions about returning home. This showed the County exactly where their response was needed.

August 27th, 2020

EVACUATIONS - QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ON OFFICIAL CHANNELS

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Recent fires: while residents appreciate first responders' hard work to keep them safe, comments on official County updates reveal confusion

Over the past ten days, discourse about fires elicited over 30K interactions, accounting for half of the County's discourse.

Most of the conversations focused on evacuations (62%), with official sources comprising 51% of this topic's discourse.

Here are the main takeaways from resident discussions on official channels:

  • The sheriff's Facebook page was the leading source in communicating about evacuations, eliciting 86% of the official discourse.
  • Shares comprised 32% of the interactions, reflecting an urgency to inform others.
  • Likes comprised 29% of the discourse, suggesting that residents appreciated the updates.
  • 30% of the discourse was explicitly positive, reflecting comments thanking first responders for their work to keep residents safe.
  • A small share of negative sentiment (5%) mostly reflects comments expressing fear or sadness. Also, some commenters suspected that campers or homeless individuals started the fire.

While the response was overall thankful, an analysis of the comments reveals some confusion about official updates and notifications:

  • Many commenters complained about the website and map (96 interactions). Commenters claimed they were not "user friendly": website is "too busy", hard to find information, the interface is bad on mobile. Also, some claimed that the website and map updates should have been more frequent.
  • Some commenters directly stated they did not receive proper updates and alerts, claiming they should have been more frequent, clear, and detailed (43 interactions).
  • A few commenters raised questions about areas that were evacuated, stating they are confused about whether they can return home (11 interactions).

The analysis suggests that more frequent updates on social media, especially by the sheriff's Facebook page, would be highly appreciated. Also, it may be advised to post an additional reminder about the use of the county app for notifications.

Zencity insight
California California
fire Fire

Analyzing residents’ negative interactions surrounding major fires in this California city revealed that evacuation orders were not clear, the city map was too blurry, and that updates should be more frequent, clear and detailed.

August 26th, 2020

EVACUATIONS - QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ON OFFICIAL CHANNELS

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Recent fires: while residents appreciate first responders' hard work to keep them safe, comments on official City updates reveal confusion

Over the past week, discourse about fires elicited over 43.5K interactions, dominating the city's discourse (77% of the total conversations).

More than half of the conversations focused on evacuations (64%), with official sources comprising 37% of this topic's discourse.

Here are the main takeaways from resident discussions on official channels:

  • The police account was the leading source in communicating about evacuations, eliciting 71% of the official discourse.
  • Shares comprised 36% of the interactions, reflecting an urgency to inform others.
  • Likes comprised 27% of the discourse, suggesting that residents appreciated the updates.
  • 15% of the discourse was explicitly positive, reflecting gratitude for first responders' work to keep residents safe.
  • A small share of negative sentiment (5%) mostly reflects concerns for loved ones and frustration about recurring fires each year.

While response was overall thankful, an analysis of the comments reveals substantial confusion about official updates and notifications:

  • Many commenters raised questions regarding specific areas, suggesting that evacuation orders were not clear (139 interactions).
  • Some commenters complained about the map not being clear (59 interactions), either because it was too blurry when zooming in or due to lack of clear lines separating areas of mandatory and advisory orders. Also, a few commenters claimed that the map updates should have been more frequent.
  • Some commenters directly stated they did not receive proper updates, claiming they should have been more frequent, clear, and detailed (56 interactions).

The analysis suggests that more frequent updates on social media, especially by the police accounts, would be highly appreciated. Also, it may be advised to post an additional reminder about the use of the city app for notifications.

Zencity insight
California California
fire Fire

60% of fire-related conversations in this California city were about air quality, with residents debating air quality reports amongst different weather apps. Zencity’s data showed that official City messaging on the matter seemed to ease this confusion.

August 26th, 2020

Fires - Discourse breakdown

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Analysis of discourse on recent fires shows that the effect on air quality was a top concern; official communications seemed to ease initial confusion about air quality measures

Over the past week, conversations regarding fires elicited 1,998 interactions, comprising 10% of the total city discourse from August 18-26.

Notably, most of the conversations (60%) were focused on the effects of the fires such as smoke and air quality:

  • Analysis shows that initially, there was some confusion about measures of air quality, as commenters shared with each other data from different apps containing contradicting reports.
  • Official City messaging regarding air quality seemed to alleviate this issue, evident by a lack of continued questions or confused comments. Therefore, it may be effective to communicate not only air quality data but also inform residents on the type of sources or apps that are reliable.
  • Heavy smoke also raised some inquiries about whether there are fires within city borders. While these inquiries were minimal and resolved rather quickly, they raised questions regarding the evacuation guidelines in case of evacuation orders for the city.

Much of the remaining discourse was comprised of shares of posts about the fire (29%), reflecting a sense of urgency to inform others about the developing events.

The response to fire updates indicates that effects on air quality were residents' top concern. While official communications on this topic seemed to ease confusion, it may be advised to further communicate reliable data about air quality, and clarifications on fire locations and guidelines in case evacuations are required.

Zencity insight
California California
fire Fire

Data showed this California city which channels were most effective for emergency communications regarding the LNU Lightning Complex fires; the fire department was the leading official source, and the County’s channels were the leading external sources.

August 24th, 2020

LNU Lightning Complex Fires - Popular Words on Official vs Unofficial Channels

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

LNU Lightning Complex fires: while discourse on official channels was comprised of expressions of community appreciation toward the city's fire department, conversations on unofficial channels focused on the evacuation orders

Over the past week, conversations regarding fires were the main focus of residents' conversations - as the LNU Lighting Complex Fires accounted for 67% of all conversations in the City.

Notably, 42% of the conversations were in response to official communications. The main takeaways from an analysis of these conversations are as follows:

  • The fire department was the leading source in communicating about fires, with updates eliciting 76% of the official discourse.
  • Likes comprised 40% of the discourse, suggesting that residents appreciated the clear and frequent updates.
  • Shares comprised 22% of conversations, reflecting residents' need to distribute the updates.
  • A large part of the discourse was explicitly positive (51%), reflecting comments thanking the fire department for keeping them safe.
  • There was a 6% negative sentiment among the discourse, mostly reflecting frustration with the fact that fires occur in the same location each year. Also, some commenters were upset by the FD staff shortage and the governor's cut in Cal Fire's budget. Finally, few commenters expressed concerns about the effects of the smoke.

While the discourse on official channels contained mostly expressions of appreciation by the community, the conversations on unofficial channels focused on evacuations:

  • The leading sources among unofficial channels were County sources (63% of the discourse).
  • Shares comprised 46% of conversations, indicating a sense of urgency to inform others about the regional updates.
  • The share of positive and negative sentiment was similar - 8% each. While the positive sentiment reflects comments thanking the first responders, the school district, and each other for their care, the negative sentiment reflects sadness, fear, and anxiety regarding the evacuations.

It should also be noted that Zencity's analysis of discourse in cities that issued evacuation orders for their residents identified the following issues in need of consideration:.

  • Alignment between cell notifications and online maps;
  • Verifying that the alert system notifies all of the residents in areas that are ordered to evacuate, even during a power outage;
  • Ensuring that the meaning of marks on maps are clear and that it is easy to understand which areas are shown as one that needs to evacuate, including a distinction between mandatory and advisory evacuations;

Overall, the response to official updates regarding the fires indicates that despite some concerns, residents are expressing a calm reaction and high trust in the local fire department. In comparison, the response on unofficial channels - reflecting a more regional discourse - indicates higher concerns and some confusion about evacuation orders.

Zencity insight
California California
fire Fire

Early into the LNU Lightning Complex Fires, Zencity’s data identified issues with one California city’s emergency communications including problems with notifications, unclear maps and confusing messages.

August 20th, 2020

SENTIMENT OVERVIEW (OFFICIAL SOURCES)

Notably, Zencity's analysis identified concerns about alerts and maps:

  • Misalignment between cell notifications and online maps;
  • The alert system did not notify some of the residents in areas that were ordered to evict, some suggested that this is due to an outage;
  • Residents received error messages in response to their phone alert, so they did not know whether to evict;
  • Confusion about the meaning of marks on maps and which areas exactly it shows to evacuate;
  • Some did not understand whether the online maps show mandatory or advisory evacuations.

LNU Lightning Complex Fires: Residents exhibit a relatively calm reaction in response to official updates about evacuations; some concerns about the functionality and accuracy of alerts and maps were identified

Over the past couple of days, the LNU Lightning Complex fires generated a considerable increase in the city discourse. Between August 18-20, the volume of the city's total discourse was 38X higher than the average in the last week and a half (August 8-17). The fires were virtually the sole topic of interest among residents, with evacuations of city areas as the main issue.

The City's official sources generated 20% of the discourse about evacuations. Here are the main takeaways from the resident discourse on official channels:

  • The police department was the leading source in communicating updates about evacuation orders, with updates eliciting 90% of the official discourse.
  • Shares comprised 43% of conversations, indicating an urgency to inform as many people as possible about the updates.
  • Likes comprised 20% of the discourse, suggesting that residents appreciated the updates.
  • 5% of the discourse was explicitly positive, reflecting gratitude for keeping residents informed, and the police and fire departments' hard work to keep residents safe.
  • There was 5% negative sentiment among the discourse, mostly reflecting concerns about the evacuation of the prison and inmates' well-being. Anxiety and concern about loved ones was prevalent among the negative comments as well.

Notably, Zencity's analysis identified concerns about alerts and maps:

  • Misalignment between cell notifications and online maps;
  • The alert system did not notify some of the residents in areas that were ordered to evict, some suggested that this is due to an outage;
  • Residents received error messages in response to their phone alert, so they did not know whether to evict;
  • Confusion about the meaning of marks on maps and which areas exactly it shows to evacuate;
  • Some did not understand whether the online maps show mandatory or advisory evacuations.

Overall, the resident response to evacuation updates indicates that despite some anxiety and confusion, residents are expressing a calm reaction. This is supported by the high neutral sentiment, as well as likes and shares, indicating that residents are staying informed.

Zencity insight
Texas Texas
Hurricane Hurricane

In one Texas city, data showed that local media outlets were residents’ main source of information regarding tropical storms Laura and Marco, (80% of the discourse). Therefore, these were the outlets that the City needed to stay on top of to ensure the right messages were reaching its community.

August 26th, 2020

TS LAURA AND MARCO - DATA SOURCE BREAKDOWN

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Residents express interest in following information on the impending storms, while notably moderate and calm in their response; news media is the dominant source of information and updates but helps increase reach of City’s communications

Over the past week (August 20-26), tropical storms Laura and Marco were the most discussed issue in the city - generating 310K interactions and comprising 35% of the discourse in the city.

While residents were highly engaged in conversations about the impending storms, sentiment was not a large factor in the discourse. Neutral sentiment made up 91% and consisted primarily of “shares”. This suggests that residents are eager to share information, yet there was no specific pain-point or cause for dissatisfaction that emanated from the discourse, as residents expressed a relatively moderate and even-handed response.

Official discourse accounted for just 8% of the conversation, meaning that the most prominent driver of conversation and provider of information on the situation was local media outlets (80% of the discourse). That being said, media reports also covered the Mayor’s news conference and shared other directives by the City. With the amplification provided by news media, the City’s information and guidance accounted for a fifth (21%) of the discourse overall.

In fact, the post that generated the most traction in the context of this topic was a post by a local news station sharing the Mayor’s request that roads be left as free as possible for evacuees. This post generated some opposition from people who wondered about how they are meant to get to work, indicating some confusion about the nature of the request (i.e., what constitutes a legitimate reason to travel, for example).

In summary, the discourse on tropical storms Laura and Marco suggests high interest and attention, combined with a moderate response. With news media being the dominant source of information and updates, it is worthwhile keeping track of whether it echoes the City’s information clearly, to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

Zencity insight
Texas Texas
Hurricane Hurricane

Updates by this Texas city during Hurricane Hanna received a mostly positive reaction. However, data showed that some residents were expressing dissatisfaction with the update frequency of the city map and the lack of response to calls.

August 6th, 2020

OFFICIAL CHANNELS DISCOURSE - POPULAR WORDS

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Residents reactions to the City's updates during Hurricane Hanna manifest the importance of real-time information on road closures, and residents' great appreciation for the City's service crews

Hurricane Hanna and the subsequent flooding generated in total 31K interactions, comprising 10% of citywide discourse (July 23 - August 5). These conversations included both general updates about the storm as well as discourse about flooding and drainage issues.

25% of all flooding-related discourse was generated by the City’s official posts. Residents primarily used these platforms to show appreciation towards the City, and highlight and the importance of real-time information:

  • 11% of the interactions on official sources were positive, compared to just 3% negative. Supportive feedback was mostly driven by the updates about the service crews’ work as residents expressed their gratitude and appreciation.
  • The most popular post, which was intensively shared by residents (over 600 shares), included an informative list of all the road closures and power outages in the city. This corresponds with many commenters who used the online platform to ask their community about the road conditions in different parts of the city.
  • Notably, on official channels, people expressed dissatisfaction with the update frequency of the city map or the lack of response to calls.

At the same time on unofficial channels - which comprised the majority of discourse - people used these platforms to express criticism over the city’s drainage infrastructure condition. A dominant theme was a reference to the perceived misuse of the City’s budget to fix the drainage issues.

Zencity insight
Texas Texas
Flood Flood

Severe flooding in one Texas City led to road closures. However, the data showed that resident discourse centered on sharing and “liking” the City’s road updates, not on criticizing city infrastructure, indicating the City’s communication strategy was valued and effective.

June 11th, 2020

FLOODING AND DRAINAGE - SENTIMENT OVERVIEW

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

The recent flooding event did not generate high negative discourse, as residents focused on informing their fellow community members about road closures rather than criticizing the city's infrastructure

In the past two weeks, flooding and drainage issues were not the main concern of residents, since an incident during protests attracted unparalleled attention. However, conversations about the recent flooding amounted to 1,734 interactions, and the topic was highly discussed for the first time in a number months.

Notably, the reactions toward the announcement about road closures due to flooding were mostly neutral, comprised of many shares and some likes, indicating value for residents who found this informative and helpful. Additionally, 40% of the interactions were generated by the City’s official announcement and not by new reports, indicating the City’s centric role in notifying its residents.

Even though some commenters complained about the drainage infrastructure and lack of improvement, they comprised just 6% of the discourse, which is also an indication of residents’ high level of satisfaction.

To conclude, thus far, flooding in the city and the resulting road closures was not a significant source of conversation and sentiment. Residents found the information helpful and shared it onward, and did not complain in high numbers about the city's infrastructure.

Zencity insight
Iowa Iowa
Storm Storm

During the week following a devastating derecho storm, resident discourse in this Iowa county was still heated. However, a topical data analysis revealed that residents’ priorities had shifted to focus on volunteer cleanup efforts and donations.

August 27th, 2020

STORM MONITOR - POPULAR WORDS

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Storm monitor: Over the last week, discourse related to the derecho shifts to volunteer relief efforts and appreciation for the decision to delay the start date for the school year

Conversations about the devastating derecho continue to dominate countywide discourse at 909 interactions over the last week, 20% of countywide discourse (August 20th - 26th), indicating that residents are still concerned with the storm's aftermath.

During these past few days, however, discourse appears to have shifted toward two main areas of discussion:

  • Volunteer cleanup efforts and donations (75% of interactions) for those suffering from the storm's impact. The County’s emergency management posts sharing emergency assistance resources drew 131 of those interactions with "shares" constituting 50% of them, indicating an urgency and need to spread this information.
  • School board's approval of a later start date in light of the storm (12% of interactions). The response to this development was almost exclusively comprised of likes, indicating support for this action.
Zencity insight
Illinois Illinois
Storm Storm

Residents’ conversations in this Illinois village mainly focused on storm alerts and efforts to clean up fallen trees. Specifically, many residents were using the Village’s social media pages to report fallen trees that needed to be removed.

August 12th, 2020

STORM DISCOURSE BREAKDOWN

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Following the recent severe weather, residents expressed appreciation for the Village's warnings and updates but were especially impressed by Public Works' clean up efforts in response to reports of fallen trees

The severe storm that descended on the Village over the last few days generated 854 interactions, accounting for 24% of all village discourse (August 9th - 11th).

A breakdown of the online response to the storm reveals the following:

Storm Watch + Village Alerts | (429 interactions) The majority, 57%, of discourse was elicited by warnings and village alerts about the incoming storm mainly from the Village's official Facebook account but also from it’s events Facebook page. Overall, the updates were useful and appreciated, as evidenced by the over 250 likes and shares.

  • Several comments stated that they had received an alert from the Village after the storm had passed, while others were appreciative of the Village's alerts as they received them in time.
  • In addition, a debate broke out about whether or not it is safe to take shelter in cars.

Fallen Tree Reports & Cleanup | (356 interactions) 41% of conversations about the storm were related to the fallen trees and Public Works' subsequent cleanup efforts. A shout out to the Public Works department for their quick and efficient response on the Village’s event Facebook page, revealed residents' appreciation (reflected by 13% positive sentiment and only 1% negative sentiment as well as 250 likes). Some used this platform to post photos of fallen trees and requested that the Village removes them.

Reports of power outages comprised 6% of the discourse and took place mainly on Twitter and in response to an article by a local publication (58 interactions).

Zencity insight
North Carolina North Carolina
Hurricane Hurricane

As Hurricane Isaias approached this North Carolina town, Zencity data showed that residents were not sharing their concerns directly with the Town. Rather, monitoring local media channels was crucial if the Town wanted to understand residents’ concerns.

August 5th, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA SOURCES

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

As Hurricane Isaias approached, residents took to news outlets and Twitter to express concerns about the storm and document damage. Whereas official Town sources were used mainly to express appreciation and pride for the Town’s proactive assistance to coastal communities

As hurricane Isaias has made its way towards North Carolina, conversations about its impact in the town have generated 2,557 interactions, 27% of the town’s discourse (July 30th - August 4th).

46% of all storm-related discourse took place on the Town's official channels; however, residents primarily used these platforms to show appreciation for mitigation efforts.

Whereas on unofficial channels - which comprised the majority of discourse, 54%, residents expressed their specific concerns and posted on the ground impact of Hurricane Isaias.

The following is an in-depth breakdown of data sources and communication channels wherein residents were most communicative:

  • A local news outlet was the main channel of communication for residents about the storm, comprising 32% of discourse, driven by reports of thousands of power outages in the county. In the early morning of August 4th, comments expressed surprise that residents were experiencing power outages already as it appears they were not expecting the storm to break ground so quickly. There were 274 posts about the power outages, which was more than all other online information about the storm combined.
  • 30% of conversations were generated by the Fire Department, which updated about the Water Rescue Team's deployment to help first-hit coastal NC communities. Reactions to the department's posts made up much of the positive sentiment as residents were proud and appreciative of the swift action taken to help neighboring cities in distress.
  • Twitter mentions of the town and Hurricane Isias comprised 17% of discourse - tweets thanked the town’s Water Rescue team (reflected by the 29% positive sentiment) and posted pictures of storm damage.
  • The Town’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts drove 15% of discourse. PSAs educating residents on what to do before and during the storm were appreciated and well-received.
Zencity insight
Louisiana Louisiana
Storm Storm

This Louisiana city’s announcement about an increase in flood insurance, just days after discussing storm preparedness, was spiking negative discourse in the community.

July 29th, 2020

Conversations about Extreme Weather on Official Channels (Score Over Time)

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

While residents are supportive of the City's immediate preparedness to the latest extreme weather event, some call for better planning to prevent floods

Over the past week, conversations about extreme weather and the heavy rain amounted to 350 interactions which comprised 8% of the city discourse (July 22-29).

An analysis of these conversations on official sources reveals that while residents are supportive of the City's messaging on storm preparedness, they did not appreciate the announcement about an increase in flood insurance rates.

Between July 23-27, the Mayor and City's posts, declaring the City is prepared for heavy rain and calling residents to drive safely were met with support, as indicated by the 95% positive-neutral sentiment, mostly comprised of "likes" and "loves".

Alternatively, in response to yesterday's live City Council meeting, a few residents expressed dissatisfaction about the increase in flood insurance rates, and blamed the City's planning and drainage system for floods (July 28-29, 73% negative sentiment).

Thus, it seems that while residents appreciated the City's immediate preparedness to the recent storm, some did not appreciate an increase in payments for flood insurance and called the City to improve planning to prevent floods.

Zencity insight
Mississippi Mississippi
Hurricane Hurricane

In this Mississippi county, the most engaging information sources about hurricanes Marco and Laura were the communities' official pages, the County's school district page, and news outlets, highlighting the importance of cross-departmental and cross-industry collaboration to ensure cohesive messaging and to "meet residents where they're at".

September 3rd, 2020

Tropical Storms - Breakdown of Local Discourse by Source

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

Local conversations about the recent hurricanes occurred mostly on unofficial channels; Nevertheless, County official channels led the discourse about preparation guidelines

During the past two weeks, conversations about tropical hurricanes Marco and Laura elicited over 16K interactions, of which 60% were made on local channels (the local communities and County's social media accounts, as well as local news and organizations).

An analysis of the conversations on local channels reveals the following:

23% of the discourse was in response to posts by local communities' official channels.

  • These conversations focused on harbors evacuation and storm watches, and to a lesser extent on collecting donations for storm victims in neighboring states and preparation guidelines.
  • Residents responded to all of these topics in a calm manner, as evident by the fact they did not raise questions or concerns in the comments.

Two posts by the School District comprised an additional 23% of the discourse.

  • Most of the interactions (80%) were "likes" and "shares", reflecting a sense of urgency to spread the update and inform others about school closing. This is also evident by hundreds of comments tagging others.
  • It seems that this information was well-received, as there were no negative comments expressing concerns or complaints.

News reports comprised 22% of the discourse.

  • Similar to the response to the school district's update, most of the interactions comprised of likes, shares, and people tagging others in the comments - indicating a need to spread the information.

Official county channels comprised 10% of the discourse.

  • The most popular posts were about the County's law enforcement teams heading to Louisiana to assist local departments.
  • The County's posts about preparation guidelines also attracted substantial attention - exactly 2X more interactions than the Cities' posts on this topic. There were only a handful of questions raised in the comments, indicating the information was clear.
  • However, the County's storm watches attracted 4X lower discourse volume compared to the Cities' watches.
Zencity insight
Massachusetts Massachusetts
Flood Flood

Harsh weather flooded the local hospital in one Massachusetts town, but Zencity data revealed residents were mostly grateful for the Town's response efforts, rather than disgruntled, demonstrating effective town-led communication.

July 1st, 2020

SENTIMENT OVERVIEW: OFFICIAL VS. UNOFFICIAL CHANNELS

Sentiment Overview: Official Vs. Unofficial Channels

While the flooding at the local hospital raises some concerns over damages, discourse on official channels reveals overall satisfaction with the Town's storm response

Over the past week, extreme weather conditions and the flooding of the local hospital elicited 20K interactions which comprised 75% of town discourse, making it the focal point of conversations.

Most of the discourse was generated on unofficial channels, mainly news outlets reporting on the flooding (84%). Discourse on these channels mostly expressed concern (12% negative sentiment compared to merely 2% positive sentiment) for the damage to the hospital or other properties, and for patients and hospital staff.

On the other hand, official channels that shared the Town's response and efforts to fix the damages caused by the storm generated a minority of the discourse (16%). Unlike unofficial sources, official updates generated overall satisfaction (20% positive sentiment compared to merely 2% negative sentiment). Such positive sentiment included thankful and appreciative comments toward different Town departments for handling the hospital flooding and other damages.

Notably, some commenters in the minority of negative sentiment shared damages that they experienced, including flooded properties, and the story of nurse who lost her job due to the state of the hospital.

Even though residents were shaken by the severe flooding, the sentiment breakdown on official channels shows that they are overall satisfied with the Town's response.