Moving into the colder weather and rain in most of the country, it is time to go back through our emergency preparedness kit. I know it must seem like we just did that as the fire evacuations and then the flood evacuations; however, one thing barely touched upon is how friends and family can reach us once we are evacuated.
We are aware of the water, food, emergency provisions and so forth we need. If you have any concerns or just want to familiarize yourself with this part, please go to www.redcross.org and follow the leads. In the times of stress and need for personal safety, we can easily forget about our family and friends who may not be physically impacted by our emergency, however, they are emotionally impacted by this emergency.
Make a plan for contact. Taking into account the good possibility of traditional phones being down, and cellphone lines being over powered, how can we accomplish the notification? We first, maybe able to contact, by cellphone, family out of state, due to use of a different cell tower. These lines frequently are not as business as those surrounding the emergency, so as we are planning let’s look at who would be out of state we could let know we are OK and at which shelter. All family members in the phone tree should be aware of this hub. Next, when this part of the link has not been established, for whatever reason, be sure that Red Cross and rescue workers are aware of you. Should you be able bodied perhaps you would be able to help with this part of the emergency relief; help by providing a sign-in for evacuees at the Red Cross area.
This may seem unimportant, however, please be aware of the thousands of contact calls the emergency services get each hour while they are trying to aid those who are hurt, injured or unable to communicate. This task is easily set up and can be a true light bulb for the workers. Next if you are caring for a person who is unable to identify themselves or name relatives, Please have them wearing an emergency bracelet with their name and contact information.