It is Day 5 of our Let’s Get Prepared! Challenge, and we’re entering Phase 2: Create Your Plan. This week we’ll focus on a number of challenges that help us think about “what would I do if? ” and start to sort through some of the answers, and get them on paper.
Today, we’re going to focus on getting and staying informed!
First up: How will you know something is happening? We don’t always get a warning, sometimes little if any, that something is heading our way. But there are systems and methods out there that can help us stay informed so that we’re aware of what we’re facing, and can have some time to plan and react.
- Make sure that WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) are enabled on your phone. Your smart phone probably came with these enabled by default, and you may have decided that they were annoying, so you disabled them. The messages are free and are not impacted by network congestion. WEA are used for 3 purposes:
- Extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area
- AMBER Alerts
- Presidential Alerts during a national emergency
- NOAA Weather radio. A NOAA Weather radio is radio, which can come in either a plugged-in, battery or hand crank (no electricity necessary) version. They can share alerts and warnings of incoming weather events, or allow you to keep updated while in the middle or aftermath of one. The warnings are audio, visual/text (many come with multiple language support).
- Emergency broadcasts on your TV or Radio. We all know the tests… the tests are there in case they actually need to do a public emergency broadcast. If you have a TV or radio access at the time of an emergency, you should expect to get a warning.
- “Reverse 911” or “Code Red” or similar municipal services. These are the systems for which you can register (inquire with your town on what systems exist and how to sign up). The municipality calls the numbers registered in order to share robo-dial updates.
- Sirens and other warning methods. If you are in a zone that’s prone to tornadoes, you probably know what a warning siren sounds like. If you don’t know what it sounds like, check in with your local police or fire department to learn when testing will be done, so you can be sure to pay attention.
- Apps on your phone. FEMA, Red Cross, and CodeRED are three apps you might install on your smart phone for additional notifications and safety information. Also, follow your local news and community resources on Twitter or Facebook.
- Make sure that your Wireless Emergency Alerts are enabled on your phone.
- Consider an additional resource, app or device from the list above to help information reach you.
Join in the conversation over at the Clever Girl Organizing Challenge Facebook Group to learn from and to teach others as we all take on the Let’s Get Prepared! Challenge!
Reminder: Our goal here is to take steps towards improvement. The content in these posts is designed to inspire thinking, not fear.