Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
Disaster Readiness in a Digital Age
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging citizens to add another tool to their emergency preparedness skill set: tech savvy. With the internet becoming a larger part of everyday life and surpassing older traditional methods of communication, FEMA has decided to release guidelines for disaster preparedness technology.
Among the advice provided by FEMA to the Ready.gov website:
Organize all your e-mail and social media contacts into easily accessible groups. Learn how to use your cell phone to send out e-mail blasts, Facebook updates, or text mass messages to family and friends to let them know you’re okay in case of a disaster.
Organize and secure your personal information online or in a password-protected USB flash drive you keep on your keychain. This information should include driver’s license/passport scans, insurance info, banking information, medical records, and up-to-date photos of your family and pets, in case you’re separated.
Keep a solar or hand-crank charger on hand to power small electronics such as phones and laptops in the case of a prolonged power outage.
FEMA also offers a free smartphone app to assist in disaster preparedness planning. It also provides updates in the event of an emergency, and can provide maps highlighting shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers.
Pictured: hand-crank charger