How to utilize technology during a disaster

Hilary Anderson, American Red Cross Preparedness and Resiliency Manager, shares advice on how technology can be used to help keep you safe during a disaster
How To Utilize Technology During A Natural Disaster
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How to utilize technology during a disaster

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As technology continues to improve, so does preparedness. With each new disaster, we get to learn new lessons and improve the ways that we respond and the types of things that we do. For example, we all used to run for doorways in earthquakes, and now we know that's not the safest thing to do; we "drop, cover, and hold on." A few years ago, we didn't all have cell phones; now we do. In terms of technological advances, how that can benefit you in preparedness is to make sure that you have that contact information--the important places where you would want to go, veterinary information--all of that information available at your fingertips in your cell phone; that's one good place to store your plan, but writing it down and physically in the emergency kit--also a good thing. What we want to do in terms of emergency preparedness is never rely on a single thing to get us through the emergency. Cell phones serve as a great source of information--you can text people usually after an emergency, getting out tiny bits of information--but so are landlines. Landlines are very reliable, and having a phone that is not electrical--doesn't rely on electricity to run--so just that standard corded phone we don't have anymore--grab one; throw it in your home supplies kit. Use that--plug it into a landline, have your cell phone available, and you can also rely on radios for important emergency information. Most radio stations will broadcast emergency information following a disaster, so make sure you've got a radio in your kit as well. You've got landlines, cell phones, radio--make sure that you've backed up your plan so you have as many options as possible for getting that information to your family.

Hilary Anderson, American Red Cross Preparedness and Resiliency Manager, shares advice on how technology can be used to help keep you safe during a disaster

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Hilary Anderson, MA

American Red Cross

Hilary Anderson has been with the American Red Cross for the past three and a half years as a volunteer and staff member in positions with communications, disaster relief, development and volunteer services. As the Preparedness and Resiliency Manager, her primary responsibility is the delivery of educational programming across the Los Angeles region to get individuals, schools, businesses and organizations prepared for a disaster. As a dog owner, she also hopes to get your pets ready too! Hilary has a master’s degree in International Policy Studies with an emphasis in humanitarian assistance as well as a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Journalism and German. She has worked for non-profits abroad in Israel, Bolivia and Germany focusing on grant writing, youth and education and also feeding and sheltering. 

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