Saturday, May 28, 2011

Preparedness Challenge #10


If there was a disaster how would you communicate or find out what was going on in your community? If the power was out, what would you do? A battery operated radio would be the first step in finding out news, but how would you be able to let people know what was going on in your area? I don't think cell phones would work, would they? Following are some guidelines that may help. :)

Communication During a Disaster

To report an emergency:
1. Call 911.
2. If your telephone does not work, check to see if a neighbor’s phone works.
3. If no telephone works, you can try a cell phone. Don’t count on it working though, as these often depend on land lines, and they may also be overloaded.
4. Go to a fire station to report your emergency. Be aware that during a disaster, crews are likely to be already working at an emergency scene, in which case they won’t be in the station. During a major extended emergency, additional staff will be assigned to take emergency reports during a phone system outage.
5. For a life-threatening medical emergency, you may need to go directly to the hospital emergency department. Have someone besides the sick or injured person drive.

To report other conditions:
1. Gas, water or electric outages, call the appropriate utility provider at the number listed in the phone book.
2. Local Police non-emergency number.
3. City Information line
4. Down Trees
5. Mental Health Crisis Line
6. Sewer, Repair Emergencies
7. Traffic Signals not working
8. Water Main Breaks

To get information during a disaster:
1. Turn on your television or radio to a local station. Use battery-operated radio (or car radio) if electrical power is out.
2. If your home is in a location where immediate action is necessary (evacuate, shelter in place, etc), you may receive a telephone call with basic instructions via the Emergency Notification System.
3. Emergency personnel may also be canvassing the area to provide emergency direction, or triaging for damage and casualties.

To help the communication system work during an emergency:

1. Do not make unnecessary phone calls. They will only add calls to an overloaded system and may prevent emergency calls from getting through.
2. When you get reliable information, share it with your neighbors.

I am going to research Ham radios and see if there is some sort of directory of people in my area that I could talk to about the subject. I think if the situation was really bad, that will be the only way to communicate and it wouldn't hurt to know someone. 

Communication is very important in emergency preparedness and everyone needs to have an idea or plan of what to do. Make a list of your emergency numbers in your area and have it close by or put it in one of your GOODY bags.

Side Note:
On a side note; as I was writing this post the electricity went out at our house. As I sat in the dusky light, I thought about all the things I had ready to go in case this were to become a real emergency. I also thought about all the things I wasn't prepared for. My cell phone was not charged, I didn't have a full tank of gas in my car and my GOODY bags are not toally ready to go - yet, to name a few. However, I do have water, crank flashlights, a wood stove and grill and a good start on food among other things. This is an ongoing preparation for me but I am closer to being there and feel better about what I have accomplished.
Thank you Amy for the Preparedness Challenge. Without your challenge I wouldn't have had any preparations done at all.


  1. Isn't this weather crazy? We are not good where I live too. I'm going to post monday about the plight of the farmers and the lack of crops they are going to have.

    Thanks so much for commenting on one of my posts awhile back.

    Please stay safe

  2. After a tornado scare on Sunday, we ended up focusing on making the "Go-Bags" which we didn't have either. Also went and got some essential items in the event that the power went out for an extended period of time.

    Like you said, it's an ongoing preparation. We're so much more prepared now than we were ten weeks ago!

    Thanks for posting the communication tips. Great advice!

  3. Thanks, Bobbi. We're helping each other out here, right? Your posts keep me thinking, too! Small "emergencies" like loosing your electricity are great for learning where you're lacking! And like you, I'm not totally prepared, but more so each week!

    I'm blessed to live in a small mountain community that has it's own fire and police station. They have their own radio station that continually broadcasts local information and in an emergency (such as a mountain fire), it tells you what to do, etc. (I have a hand crank/solar powered radio for this need). Also, they have a reverse phone messaging system. Every now and then it calls me to test the system.

  4. I feel pretty blest in that I was raised on a farm and got a heavy dose of common sense to keep sensible. Lucky thing # 2 I can walk to the Fire Department. How cool is that?



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