OK, so you survived the Mayan apocalypse. But are you prepared for a real disaster? Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to review your disaster supplies and emergency plans.
Resolve to be Ready is a FEMA campaign that urges people to make a personal emergency plan and create a basic emergency kit for the new year. Since 55 percent of Americans now own smartphones the national campaign emphasizes using your personal technology in your emergency plans.
“You may be separated from your family when a disaster strikes, so having an emergency plan is a critical part of being prepared. You can have it at your fingertips with the County’s SD Emergency app,” said Stephen Rea, assistant director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services. “Your smartphone can be a great resource, even a life-saving tool, during a disaster or local emergency.”
Create a personal preparedness plan or update your current one on the SD Emergency app:
- The app allows people to store information including out-of-state contacts, emergency phone numbers, meeting places, evacuation plans and other practical information.
- Residents can also find quick tips on preparing for the most-likely disasters in our area and general tips on responding to these emergencies
- You can find a list of basic supplies to help build an emergency kit and you can add to it personal items specific to your family.
To include our various technological tools in your plans, you may want to have extra batteries and car-charger adapters. You may even consider buying a solar or hand-crank charger. Also, keep your electrical devices in a waterproof bag, just in case.
To conserve battery power on your mobile phone during a disaster, keep texts or calls brief, avoid streaming videos and downloading music or videos since it could lead to network congestion.
Emergency managers also recommend that people send brief text messages rather than phone calls when possible since phone lines are often overwhelmed in a disaster. You should call 9-1-1 only during a life-threatening incident.
Your phone can also help you get information from officials through the County’s emergency app. These notices will include evacuation routes, shelters, road closures, power outages and other information that will help you and your family stay safe.
Some agencies and institutions may post critical information on their own websites or social media pages also.
—County News Center