Since the beginning of the Ready Georgia campaign in 2008, technology has played a key role in helping Georgians prepare, plan and stay informed. Hundreds of thousands of people have visited the Ready Georgia website and social media channels, where they have been able to access customized tools and emergency preparedness information.
Today we have added an exciting new tool to our technological bag – the Ready Georgia mobile app. This free application is loaded with easy-to-use features that put a Ready kit checklist, customized family emergency plan and localized severe weather and public health alerts in the palm of your hand. You can also check historic weather data for your county, as well as your current flood risk.
The app’s unique mapping feature lets you locate open Red Cross shelters in your area, check nearby stream gauge levels and view the location of every tornado touchdown for the past 50 years.There’s even a bit of trivia, with the “Today in Hazard History” feature that shares historic weather events for every day of the year.
Developing a mobile app is no small task. It has taken us many months to create this tool, but we believe that the effort is well worth it. There is an ever-increasing demand for information on mobile platforms, and we and our partners at the Department of Public Health are glad to be ahead of the curve in meeting that need. In fact, Georgia is the first state to offer a complete readiness mobile application for its residents.
The Ready Georgia mobile app is just one way you can make technology part of your emergency preparedness game plan. Here are a few more techno tips:
- Text, don’t talk. Following the recent East Coast earthquake, the Department of Homeland Security sent out an important reminder via its official Twitter feed: “Tell friends/family you are OK via text, email and social media.” Text messages require less bandwidth than phone calls, which reduces the strain on the network and makes it possible for more people to get in touch with loved ones. Too many phone calls at one time can jam a cellular network, reducing everyone’s ability to communicate.
- Go to the cloud. In addition to storing paper copies of important records in a water and fire-proof box, consider your options for backing up important electronic records. Store your personal and financial records in the cloud or on a secure and remote area or flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere.
- Stay connected to Ready Georgia. Stay informed by adding this blog to your RSS reader, by becoming a fan on the Ready Georgia Facebook page and by following the GEMA Twitter feed.
For more information about using technology to get Ready, visit Get Tech Ready. This new web resource was launched just last month and is a collaboration between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Ad Council and Google Crisis Response on behalf of the national Ready campaign.