Portland snow brings with it a modern day air raid siren on smartphones… and of course a new meme

Okay. Okay. We get it. Portlanders like to freak out about the weather. Especially winter weather. But this one was a bit of a doozy. And as usual, it became a messy mix of snow and ice rather quickly. Portland does that whole messy weather thing exceptionally well. The snow. The freezing rain.

Ah Portland.

But this time, we were decidedly living in the future. As many smartphone owners in the area found that their devices had turned into a handheld air raid siren.


The push notification—coupled with the blaring alarm—jolted some folks and woke others. But it did its job. For some folks, a little more than expected.


(Irony: Sasha works for Urban Airship.)

But what was even more impressive—at least from a technology standpoint—was how this message was rapidly amplified through a bunch of social channels. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all lit up with people sharing the alert. And thereby spreading the word. Often to folks who hadn’t yet received the news. Amplifying a message, indeed.

Long story short, it was one of those cases of technology being used the right way at the right time. To help. Even if it wasn’t perfect. Not bad for Portland’s first time, though.

Well, and if that wasn’t enough. We got a new meme. That’s right! The next time it snows around here, you can share both “Portland snow car crashes” and this new gem, which had been trending on Portland’s subReddit but just blew up when Deadspin caught hold of it.


If you’re feeling bad for laughing, don’t worry. She’s okay. And a terribly good sport about the whole thing.


Stay safe, Portland. And charge those devices. It’s usually about now that the power starts going out.