Tech-savvy emergency preparation and response is the theme for the 2013 National Preparedness Month in September. The “Resolve 2B Ready” campaign encourages citizens to use technology to effectively communicate and stay informed in the event of a disaster.
Here are some tips to be technologically ready:
- Invest in an extra power source for your cell phone - This can be a car charger, solar-powered charger, or back-up battery. Keep the power source in your emergency kit.
- Know how to send text message updates. After a disaster, it is often easier to send a text message than to make a voice call. Enable text messaging on your mobile device so you can contact family and friends if the call network is congested. However, remember that if you have an emergency you need to CALL 911.
- Store important documents on a secure flash drive to keep in your emergency kit –Save copies of important documents such as financial records, insurance, identification photos, pet records, and banking information on the flash drive. Keep this flash drive in your emergency kit so it is readily available after a disaster.
- Program an “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) contact into your cell phone –Choose a relative or friend who lives nearby and inform them that they are your emergency contact. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel can check your ICE listing to reach them.
- Purchase a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio –Keep the radio and extra batteries in your emergency kit so you can get valuable information after a disaster. The City of Beverly Hills radio station is 1500 AM.
To be adequately prepared for an emergency, residents are also encouraged to “make a kit, make a plan, and be informed.” A major disaster could overwhelm emergency and city service resources, so residents should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least seven days. For additional technology preparedness tips and to take the “Resolve 2 B Ready” pledge, go to www.beverlyhills.org/pledge.
For more information, contact the Office of Emergency Management at (310) 285-1025.