A natural disaster occurs—a volcano erupts, a hurricane hits, or a blizzard buries you in several feet of snow. Or, a pandemic emerges and the supply chain is thrown into chaos. Or, your health fails and you’re unable to leave your home. All of these things could rightfully be classified as emergencies, and it’s best to be prepared.
When responding to an emergency in your own life, having a plan is crucial. What do you want to achieve? How do you want to come out of this? Of course, ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones is the end goal. And luckily, that’s easier than ever with all the new technology that has been created with that end in mind.
Tracking your pet if they run away while you’re evacuating from a hurricane? Staying in contact with your family so everyone can rendezvous at the same spot? Finding a shelter that’s nearby and still open? All of these things can be done through your smartphone.
When you’re developing a disaster response plan, you have to cover all your bases. Realizing you can’t find your phone, or you’re not sure how to call your daughter right before evacuating is not a situation you want to be in. You’ll need to think about all aspects of emergency preparedness technology and solutions.
To start, how can you stay connected with family and friends? For most people, this is the most important part of their emergency plans. Getting your tech ready includes setting up group chats, connecting with loved ones on social media platforms, and making sure you have their contacts saved. It’s best to not rely on mediums that do best with an Internet connection, like video chatting. And proactive preparation includes thinking ahead. You don’t want to rack up huge charges because you spend all your time communicating with overseas relatives when the platform you’re using wasn’t initially made to do that.
For the best emergency management, you also need to consider where you’re going to go. In some situations, you won’t need to go anywhere. Instead, the best solution is sheltering in place. But when your emergency preparations involve travel, consider how you’re going to get there. Do you plan on flying out of state long before a hurricane hits, if it’s been predicted far in advance? Will you be on the road? If so, it’s a smart idea to make sure you can access insurance cards from your phone. Many insurance companies, like Progressive or State Farm, offer an app that you can download. This will help you track all your relevant auto documents and keep them on your phone in one spot.
Weather apps are also a good part of emergency preparedness technology. And you just don’t need to download them for disaster response, either! You can use them to figure out if today is the right day to grill or move furniture, or if that might be better for another day in the week. You can download apps like AccuWeather for this purpose, or you can focus on your technology disaster preparedness by downloading local Red Cross apps.
When you’re coming up with an emergency response plan, the best thing to do is to personalize it. What works for someone else might not work for you. You can take your personal preferences, what your family uses, your level of tech-savvy, your location, and any other factors into account. If you make a plan that works for you, you’ll be ready to execute it whenever the right time comes!