United Way Bay Area

Disaster Prep 2.0

Posted on March 10, 2010, by United Way in Uncategorized

If you have a smart phone, getting prepared for disaster has never been easier. Over on Mashable, they have a great list of resources that either use Web 2.0 tools like Facebook , or can be integrated with any current generation smart phone.

Though it sounds rather fancy and complicated, it is really just another way of organizing the same principles and information we've recommended: Things like creating a plan, establishing meeting places for your family, and making sure you have your emergency contact information updated and available.

If you have a smart phone, it may be also be good idea to install social media apps like Facebook and Twitterbecause the 3G network could still be functioning after a disaster, even as phone lines may be busy or unavailable.A quick status update could be a useful way to let a lot of people know you're okay, or your location, or anything else worth communicating.

Use these tools in combination with other, low-tech, steps and you'll be quite prepared.

Some favorites that were mentioned include:

My Maps which lets you plan a route using landmarks, lines, and shapes, and lets you easily share that route or access it on your mobile browser.You can also print out a copy of the map you've created and add to your "Go Bag" or your child's backpack.

For iPhone users (I'm sure there will soon be an Android equivalent) they also mentioned the ICE App (99 cents in App Store). The app creates one central location to conveniently store information about your medical conditions and allergies as well as emergency contacts. You can even enter insurance information and contact details for your specific doctors. Mashable also links to other iPhone apps that can help you out in case of emergency.

But my favorite is the Emergency Radio app, which turns your iPhone into a supercharged scanner for police, fire, NOAA and other emergency radio frequencies.

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