Officials: Take time to preparePublished 7:21pm Monday, September 2, 2013
As part of National Preparedness Month in September, Dallas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management are focusing on how new technologies — specifically smartphones — can be built into the disaster plans.
A 2012 Nielson report revealed that nearly 55 percent of mobile phone owners in the United States own smartphones. As a simple resolution, all smartphone owners can turn the technology in their purses and pockets into a life-saving tool during and after an emergency or disaster.
Dallas County EMA Director Rhonda Abbott stated there are many apps relating to weather and emergency response available.
“One weather app in particular Alabama SAF-T Net provides residents weather updates for any specific location they wish to enter. I personally have this app on my phone,” Abbott said. “It provides updates for approaching weather as well as watches and warning information. I have three locations in my phone — my children’s school, my home and my workplace. This app allows you to set priorities and locations important to the individual.”
Locally, Abbott said there are some local events aimed at helping educate the public, train responders about disaster plans, the development of disaster kits and other items.
“It is important for every resident of Dallas County to take preparedness seriously. Preparedness is an individual responsibility,” Abbott said. “The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to save a life, which could be your very own.”
The Dallas County Emergency Management Agency, along with first responders will hold the annual Be Ready Day, Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Memorial Stadium from 9 a.m. until1 p.m.
This event is designed to be a fun day for school children and we encourage adults to come out as well to meet local responders, ask questions and become more informed of local response efforts.
“Area residents should stay informed about types of emergencies that can occur and know appropriate responses, make a family emergency plan, have a disaster preparedness kit and simply get involved in the community,” Abbott said. “Citizens should plan where they will go if an emergency happens, plan driving routes and alternates, as well as plan for your pets.”
Disaster kits should be assembled based on the particular families needs. In planning, remember everyone in the household; babies need special accommodations (formula, diapers, etc), while others may require specific medications.
Abbott said disasters affect everyone and it takes everyone in a community working together to build stronger, safer, more resilient communities.
For more information on National Preparedness Month residents can go to www.ready.gov.