FEMA dispels rumors in attempts to limit spread of false Hurricane Irma information
By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
September 10, 2017, 1:15:29 PM EDT
Share this article:
Earlier this week, videos claiming to show the effects of Irma in the Caribbean were shared on Facebook. The videos were from different storms several years ago, but they were still viewed by tens of millions.
The internet and social media can be useful in breaking news situations. Unfortunately, not all of the information being released is accurate and social media can allow false information to spread rapidly.
The fake Caribbean videos demonstrate the speed that false information can be spread. There have been numerous other false claims about Hurricane Irma.
Another example is a weather forecast predicting Irma would develop into a Category 6 hurricane was also widely shared. But such a storm designation does not exist.
“The scale was developed 1 to 5,” Joel Myers, the founder and president of AccuWeather, told New York times Tuesday, Sept. 5. “When you develop a scale 1 to 5, there can’t be any Category 6.”
“People’s lives are at stake,” Myers stated in his New York Times' interview. “If people get the wrong information and make the wrong decision, it’s a tragedy.”
Reports: Hurricane Irma makes 2nd Florida landfall near Naples
Irma batters Florida with catastrophic storm surge, wind and rain
Eerie video shows hundreds of abandoned cars lining streets outside of Key West
Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Lower Keys as a Category 4 storm
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hopes to address the rumors by adding a "rumor control" page to its site.
FEMA's first online rumor control initiative was created for Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The page includes a number of "rumors" related to Irma and addresses their accuracy, or lack there of. It also highlights scams.
It addresses topics ranging from fuel shortages in Florida to disaster clean-up and inspections.
"There are reports that floodwaters bring a danger of plague. This is FALSE," one section reads.
The page addresses scams, such as Texas residents being told via robo-call that "their flood premiums are past due and in order to have coverage for Hurricane Harvey they need to submit a payment immediately to a website," reads the site.
FEMA encourages people to share this page and spread the word in order to provide accurate information.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - November 18, 2018, 12:07:18 AM EST
A narrow batch of snow will streak from the central Plains to the lower Great Lakes through Sunday morning, creating areas of slippery travel.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 6:19:54 PM EST
This weekend will bring one of the last major meteor shows of the year as the Leonids streak across the sky.
Camp Fire death toll increases to 76; San Francisco pulls famed cable cars off the roads due to poor air quality
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:12:47 PM EST
More than a week after first igniting in Butte County, California, the news surrounding the most destructive and deadly wildfire in California history remains grim.
Weather News - November 18, 2018, 12:48:50 AM EST
The weather will cooperate for a majority of those traveling by road or air for the Thanksgiving holiday, with a few exceptions.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 11:17:11 PM EST
As firefighters battle the deadly California wildfires, rain is expected to significantly aid the fight later next week but new dangers may arise for residents and rescue crews.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:50:29 AM EST
Drenching thunderstorms may do more than ruin weekend plans across central South America. Flash flooding can be triggered in some communities from northern parts of Argentina and Uruguay to southern Brazil.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:39:36 AM EST
As cleanup efforts commence in the wake of Cyclone Gaja, another round of potentially flooding rain is aiming at southern India next week.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:18:01 AM EST
One of the most well-known meteor showers of the year is set to peak this weekend as the Leonids will be on full display across Europe.