Friday, February 27, 2015

Emergency Tip: Keep Your Social Plan Simple

With all the social channels out there today,
which ones should you follow for emergency info? 

Always maintain your awareness

With so many ways to get updates and news these days, it's easy to get confused and overwhelmed. 

When it comes to preparing your family, keep it simple with these few methods:

1. Local TV/Radio News: This sounds common-sense, but make sure you catch the morning and evening local news - especially the weather forecast.

2. Weather Apps: A quick way to monitor your weather forecasts is using an app such as WeatherBug or AccuWeather - you'll be able to monitor current conditions for numerous locations, plus get detailed forecasts and weather alerts right on your mobile device.

3. For social, focus on these two channels:
  • FACEBOOK*: Search FB for your town's site, your local fire and police department's sites plus 1 or 2 local news sites. Like and follow these sites plus your state's emergency management site.
  • TWITTER*: Search Twitter for your town's and state's accounts plus a local news outlet. Follow your local fire department's and police department's feeds along with your state emergency management agency's feed.
  • Note #1: Your state emergency management and local town websites will have links to their social channels right on their homepage.
  • Note #2: With all the traffic that occurs in most user's news feed, important messages may be missed. Make sure you visit your state's and town's actual social sites regularly during an event.
  • Note #3: Install both the Facebook and Twitter app on your mobile device and practice viewing your town's and state's feeds. The mobile apps will have a different user experience compared to the laptop version of each social channel. Practice with each app now, before an event occurs. 
* Yes, there are emergency management agencies with additional social channels, but most focus on Facebook and Twitter for their emergency messaging. If they have a blog or other channel, they'll always link to that channel's posts from Facebook and Twitter.

4. State or City Apps: Many states and large cities have their own apps - for general info sharing plus emergency communications. Install these apps on your smart devices and get to know their features now, before an event occurs.

The time to start is now!

Even though winter is winding down here in the NorthEast, we still can have a Spring storms plus hurricane season is right around the corner. So take a look at the channels above and set up your apps and feeds now so that you're familiar with everything before you really need them!

Image: Patrick W. O'Connor.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Emergency Tip: February's Prep Task - Water for Your Family

THE GOAL: Have enough water on-hand for your family to last 3 days.

It's time to think about Water

February's Do 1 Thing task is water - having a 3 day supply for everyone in your home - including pets. That comes out to 3 gallons for each family member and 1 gallon for each average pet.

There are a few ways to accomplish this:

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets and additional resources on water preparation.

Portable Water Filters: Another method for those families living near bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds is to purchase a camping water filter (see Amazon for examples). These filters come in all forms: personal straws, hand-held pumps, and family-size models. These filters will produce hundreds of gallons of drinkable water before needing to be serviced.


Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Things to do”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January post about the Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: