Published: Aug 24, 2011 3:40 AM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Social media networks like Facebook played a big part in keeping people in Southwest Florida connected with family and friends after Tuesday's earthquake.

Chuck Miller is a Maryland native now living in Lehigh Acres.  He never expected to hear about an earthquake back home.

"Never even think of it.  Its crazy, its insane," Miller said.

He first learned about the quake through Facebook.
 
"I thought it was just somebody posting something on Facebook to see what kind of reaction they'd get from people, then I started seeing it from everybody," he said.

Miller found updates were far easier over facebook than the phone, as friends were posting pictures of the damage.

"The one time I tried to call, it said all cell phone circuits were busy," Miller said.  "And then I just tried again right afterwards and it went through."

The quake also shook up Southwest Floridians visiting DC, including injured Cape Coral veteran Corey Kent and his family, as they were in Washington for Kent's ongoing recovery.

"It was definitely a different feeling," said Kent's step-father, Dan Ashby.  "I was telling Corey, we've been through a lot of firsts in the past year, and that was definitely another one.  I never thought we'd have to worry about an earthquake in Washington, DC."

Chuck Miller says his family and friends in Maryland appear to be ok, and he's grateful for the help of facebook to keep him connected.

"With the social networking, that opens up a whole new avenue of communication.  That's evident after today," Miller said.