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Preparing for Disaster with a Radio

emergency radio

You have probably head that it is important to have an AM/FM radio in your emergency kit, but you may not be sure what you need it for. TV Weatherman Al Roker recently said if he could have just one thing in an emergency, it would be a weather radio.

The fact is, an AM/FM weather radio can help you prepare for disasters by providing you with vital information while traveling, as well as during an extreme weather event.

Do you know how to find emergency information on your AM radio?

One way your AM radio can help you is with Highway Advisory Radio, also called Travelers’ Information Station. By locating the Highway Advisory Radio station in your location, you can be warned about travel advisories and other emergency information that is broadcast by federal, state and local authorities.

Find out the stations near you by visiting the FCC Travelers’ Information Station Search page.

The National Weather Service can broadcast emergency information via AM radio stations as well. You can find your area on the Nationwide Station Listing page and keep your emergency radio tuned to the correct station to provide you information on all hazards so you won’t be caught by surprise.

If you have a weather radio, you may have a real advantage. Weather radios can pick up special Weather Radio broadcasts that an AM/FM radio cannot pick up on seven Weather Band NOAA Channels.

Weather radios will help you track approaching weather and take shelter if necessary. They will alert you to emergency information during a disaster that may be unattainable by other means, such as when there is no power for TV or Internet. You will feel safer when you what what is happening and what to about it.

Keep an AM/FM weather radio in your emergency kit as well as in your car kit. You’ll be able to get the information you need and won’t be isolated from the rest of the world.

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FEMA Releases Preparedness Apps and Text Updates

In the age of digital info, what better way to offer emergency preparedness tips and info than via a mobile app.  After all, almost everyone always carries their phone with them these days.  I think that’s what FEMA realized when they released a recent suite of mobile preparedness apps for both Droid and iOS mobile platforms.  In designing the app, FEMA says they worked hard to keep the disaster survivor in mind.  For example, the app makes much of the information available even if cell phone service isn’t.  That way disaster victims can access the important information on how to stay safe after a disaster, the location of your family emergency meeting locations,  etc.  Of course, ER Survival Kits come with a Hand-Crank and Solar Powered Radio Flashlight that charges all cell phones with its universal charger outlet.

The FEMA emergency preparedness app offers several useful features such as the ability to:

  • Check off the items you have in your family’s emergency kit
  • Enter your family emergency meeting locations
  • Review safety tips on what to do before, during and after a disaster
  • View a map of shelters and disaster recovery centers across the U.S.

A new and separate service from the new app, provides text message updates to cell phone users to receive text message updates from FEMA.

  • Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to sign up to receive monthly disaster safety tips
  • Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 44362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345)
  •  Text DRC + your ZIP code to 44362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest disaster recovery center in your area (for example, if you lived in Annandale, Virginia with a Zip Code of 22003, you’d text DRC 22003).
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