Communications a Key During Crisis Situations

Hurricane Map IreneTHUNDER BAY – During any natural disaster, one of the keys is getting information on what do to to keep yourself and your family safer. During storms, it is possible that the power could go out. That could knock your Internet access at home offline. That is where your wireless device or smart phone can serve as a valuable tool for information and communications. A weather radio is another tool well worth the investment.

Regardless of the device you choose, the first key of course is that you have to keep the batteries charged. It is a good idea to have alternate plans to re-charge your batteries in case of an extended power outage. This could be a car charger, or extra mobile phone batteries.

In the case of a tornado, hurricane, or winter blizzard, it is also critical to keep your wireless device dry. Having a secure waterproof bag is an excellent idea.

You can, through the Internet connect via your wireless device to get news and information updates. Twitter for example is an excellent tool for sharing short pieces of information.

It is also a good practice to put in place a communications plan for your family, and for your business. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they become separated. Most important, practice your emergency plan in advance.

If you program emergency contact numbers, e-mail addresses and passwords into your mobile phone, they will be there when you need them. It is also important to put a security password on your device so that if you lose it, it can be secured. Be sure to add the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members to the contact list.

If your wireless device has a built in camera phone, you can take, store and send photos of any damaged property which can be emailed to your insurance company from your device to ensure that you are able to recover.

During the Hurricane Irene situation, the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker is using Twitter as a tool to share information with his residents.

Throughout the storm threat, the Mayor has keep a steady stream of information flowing. “It’s better to be prepared for an emergency and not have one than have an emergency and not be prepared…please take steps for the coming storm and help your neighbors. Most often the biggest thing we can do in a day is a small act of kindness – never underestimate the great power of simple goodness”, shared Booker on both Facebook and Twitter.

Does it help? Tanya Tenturier-Brinkley writes, “I’m really loving this, Mr. Booker. It’s very comforting! Be honest with us AT ALL TIMES & we’ll respect you in the morning!”

That is the power of communications.

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