2012 proved to be yet another active year for disasters – at least 34 tornadoes ripped through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Christmas day; winter storms Draco and Euclid brought heavy snow and blizzard conditions in from the west; Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy destroyed the East Coast in October; and extreme droughts and wild fires scorched the country this summer. Yes, 2012 re-emphasized the importance of being ready and prepared for all types of disasters and emergencies.
With the start of a new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Ready and ReadyOhio are reminding Americans to Resolve to be Ready in 2013. Led by FEMA’s Ready campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council, this year’s emphasis includes integrating technology into individuals, families and businesses preparedness plans.
A 2012 Nielson report revealed that nearly 55 percent of mobile phone owners in the United States own smartphones. As a simple resolution, Ready is asking all smartphone owners to turn the technology in their purses and pockets into a life-saving tool to use during and after an emergency or disaster.
Below lists ways the Ready campaign recommends implementing technology into your emergency plans:
-Learn how to send updates via text and Internet from your cell phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available.
-Store important documents such as personal and financial records in the cloud, in a secure and remote area, or on a flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere.
-Create an Emergency Information Document by using Ready's Family Emergency Plan template in Google Docs (use Google Chrome to view) or by downloading the Ready Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.
-Download the Resolve 2B Ready 2013 Toolkit for tips and actions you can take.
By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, Americans can minimize the impact of an emergency on their families, homes or businesses. Resolve to be Ready is a nationwide effort to increase awareness and encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the New Year.
For additional information, visit www.ready.gov or www.ready.ohio.gov.