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10 Ways to Use Patch During the Storm

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

With Hurricane Sandy making her way toward New England this weekend, the need for up-to-the minute info is even more important. At Patch, we will be 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.

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

So in the wake of Sandy, 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, Twitter feeds and polls, we’ll have all the news covered 24-7. To make that easier and more fun, we are  introducing a new live-blogging capability, where you can get all that information in one fast-moving stream.

Also sign up for our Breaking News Alerts and get all breaking news right in your inbox. To do so, click here, enter your email address into the field at the top and make sure the "Breaking News" button is tagged. Hit "Subscribe" and your done!

2. Comment. Have relevant information to add to the live blog or 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 real-time source by commenting.

3. Connect with the local editor. Richard Hosford's e-mail address and phone number are Richard.Hosford@Patch.com and 978-595-8544. Use them. If you have tips but don't want to post them on the live blog, you can 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 @BurlingtonPatch.

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 will prominently display on Burlington Patch. E-mail them to Rich Hosford 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 Sandy 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, post the question to our live blog, use our Q&A feature or add it to the shout stream on our home page. Questions normally surround natural events like a hurricane. You can look to your community for answers. If no one responds, we will be sure to 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 disaster, volunteers are going to be crucial to mend the community. Any  announcements posted on the site asking for volunteers will be featured 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. Email Richard.Hosford@patch.com to sign up.

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