How your electronics devices can help in emergencies

Consumer Reports News: July 27, 2012 04:38 PM

Emergencies—like the dramatic storms that raged across the U.S. yesterday—frequently happen when you don't expect them. Instead of scrambling to figure out what to do, why not be ready for whatever might come? And of course, your electronics devices can help. Here are some handy tips we culled from FEMA's website.

  • Know where to find the latest information if a storm is approaching. If you have a smart phone, bookmark useful sites (such as http://m.fema.gov) to find safety tips.
  • Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so figure out in advance how you'll contact one another and get back together.
  • After a disaster, cell-phone networks may be congested, so teach your family how to send and read text messages as a way to get in touch.
  • Identify an out-of town contact, as it may be easier to make long-distance calls than to call across town. Be sure every member of your family knows the emergency contact's phone number and has a cell phone or a prepaid phone card.
  • Prepare a go-kit, an emergency supply kit that includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights, batteries, and solar-powered cell-phone charger.
  • If you have a landline phone, keep at least one non-cordless phone handy; it will work even if you lose power.

Find more tips here:
Weather watches and warnings and when to worry
Don't let your high-tech phone die during an emergency
After rough weather, more homeowners consider a generator
What you need to know about Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone

Storms knock out power to tens of thousands from Plains to Northeast [CNN]
FEMA blog

Carol Mangis

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