Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Download an app and get ready for disasters on the go

These days, it may seem like there’s an app for everything. But can apps save your life during a disaster? Actually, they can.

From storms to floods to wildfires to earthquakes, disasters happen more often than you may think. But with just a few clicks on your smartphone, you can get your own Marauder’s Map for disasters and never be caught off guard.

Apps can tell you if a disaster is looming nearby. They can also tell you what you can do before, during and after it strikes to protect yourself and others from harm.

One of the most important kinds of apps to install on your phone is a local preparedness app. Such apps are usually offered through government emergency management offices, and are available for many cities and areas nationwide. This way, you can keep up with what’s going on right in your area. Go to your app store and search for your community.

Other great apps to install are offered by the American Red Cross. The organization has apps for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires. If you don’t want to install them all, download their all-inclusive emergency app.

Also handy to have on your phone is the Federal Emergency Management Agency App. The app has safety tools and tips covered and offers guidance for over 20 types of weather disasters. You can use it to locate open emergency shelters and share photos to aid first responders. The app is even available in Spanish.

You also won’t want to miss the National Weather Service’s e-tool. While it’s not exactly an app, you can make the site’s mobile home page a thumbnail on your home screen that can work the same way. Just follow the instructions on the website, and get their local weather forecasts anywhere with just a click.

Now you’re ready to be prepared for disasters, wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Make a New Year’s promise you can keep this year: Resolve to be ready

“In 2017, I’m going to stop crying during sappy commercials, love myself like Kanye loves himself and catch up on all the resolutions I didn’t do last year.” Do resolutions like these sound familiar to you?

How about this year you just pick one resolution, and make it one that you can keep: Resolve to be ready. It’s easy to be prepared for disasters and you’ll feel really good about having done it.
So without further fanfare, repeat after us:

  • “I will put together a preparedness kit.” Download a checklist and head to the store. Be sure and pick up nonperishable food and water, a radio, flashlights, batteries and a first-aid kit
  • “I will make a plan.” Know what to do in different emergency scenarios. Choose a person to contact outside of your local area to communicate through and make sure your whole family has their phone number and email. Practice your evacuation and crisis plans, and don’t forget to make a plan for your pet!
  • “I will be informed.” Learn what emergencies are most likely to happen where you live and be prepared for them. For example, if you live near a fault line, learn what to do in an earthquake. And no matter where you live, learn basic first-aid and CPR. If something happens, you may be able to save the life of someone you care about.
  • “I will install an emergency app on my phone.” Download an emergency app or two. The American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and many local jurisdictions all offer free preparedness and alert resources that you can download with just a few clicks.  

Remember, a lot of familiar things will happen this year: Jennifer Aniston will probably continue not to age and your mom will probably not get the point of Snapchat. But this year, one thing will be new: You are going to be more prepared for disasters!

Learn more about how to prepare with our many free Get Ready fact sheets.