Missoula robberies spark #UMlockdown hashtag

If you were following the state news at all yesterday on Twitter, then you probably already know about the hashtag #UMlockdown which manifested around the tense situation in Missoula on Thursday morning.

A couple of businesses were robbed by an armed man who was then on the loose in the campus area. UM went into lockdown, as did other area schools and businesses. With the temperature in the double digits below zero and the robber apparently not wearing much in the way of winter gear, residents were also asked to lock their doors and stay put.

It was also thought that the robber could have been Kevin A. Briggs, the man who, while shackled, walked right out of the Bozeman Police Department on Feb. 1 and hasn’t been caught yet. Police say he has been sighted in Missoula.

Bored college students took to Twitter when their professors ran out of material. Most of those tweeting on the hashtag found plenty of humor in the situation, and the student newspaper at UM, the Kaimin, collected the best-of tweets in a Storify.

I’m embedding it here not to minimize the seriousness of the robberies in Missoula but to show how vital social media is to communicating during emergencies and how key it is to blowing off steam.

Also, I wanted to make such a Storify myself today, but I didn’t have time.