Disaster Aftermath Safety Tips Offered by Consumer Reports

Posted on July 30, 2012

Although avoiding turmoil in the midst of a storm or some other type of disaster is certainly important, many people pay scant attention to what comes in the immediate aftermath of such a situation.  Storms of all sorts are relatively commonplace, from tornadoes to hurricanes to blizzards and everything in between, and should such a calamity engulf your community, you need to be ready to go into action when the dust has settled.  The following are tips from Consumer Reports that are designed to educate citizens on how best to use electronic devices following an emergency situation such as a storm.  The tips initially hail from FEMA’s website.

Not surprisingly, most tips for how to deal with the aftermath of a disaster concern how to be prepared before a disaster strikes.  First, you should know where to go for relevant information if a storm is imminent or has just hit.  Smartphones and other devices can be useful in bookmarking sites that offer safety tips as well as up-to-the-minute weather information.  This information can prove critical to preserving the safety of you and your family.

You should also have a plan in place should you find yourself separated from your family.  Such a plan should let everyone in your immediate family know how best to contact each other and where to meet when it becomes safe to travel.  You might also think about designating a friend of the family who lives out of town as your emergency contact in a disaster.  Everyone in town is trying to call each other in the wake of a storm, but calls being made to someone outside a given area might have a better chance of getting through.  Equip every family member with a phone card or cellphone, and make sure they know said emergency contact’s phone number.

Prepare your family for using text messaging as a primary means of communication following a disaster.  Texts work by basically piggybacking off the pulse of information that’s constantly sent from your phone to a cell tower, and texts are thus not affected by tied-up lines the way that voice-based communication would be.

Two types of emergency kits should be made handy:  the first should have things like canned goods, water, a hand-crank radio, batteries, clothing, and flashlights.  The second should be more portable in case it becomes necessary to evacuate your abode.  This kit, which should reside in your automobile, should include a solar-powered phone charger, a radio, and a flashlight.

Finally, keep a cellphone handy.  Such phones are immune to power outages that could compromise landlines.

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