WASHINGTON – Following a week of terrifying news, emergency management agencies are urging citizens to be prepared before tragedy strikes.
Here are some tips for you and your family:
Always be aware of your surroundings at home, at work and on public transportation.
Know how to get in touch with loved ones and police in emergencies. During a disaster, there could be massive phone service outages, so limit phone calls and text family members. Texting uses less bandwidth than phone calls so it’s easier to get through. Text-to-911 services will expand this year, according to the FCC. Frederick County, Maryland already offers this service to Verizon customers.
Keep a portable cell phone battery charger on hand to juice up if you’re away from a power source.
The Department of Homeland Security says don’t open mail that looks suspicious, including packages with misspelled words, a strong odor and excessive postage. See the agency’s guide to suspicious mail online.
Develop a family disaster plan. FEMA’s website offers a blueprint online.
Sign-up for email alerts with your local government and keep a battery powered radio on hand.