SPECIAL REPORT: High Tech Disaster Kits - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: High Tech Disaster Kits

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Disaster can strike in the blink of an eye and unfortunately, most people aren't prepared.

According to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, only 16-percent of Georgians are ready to deal with a disaster.

Thanks to technology, getting prepared is easier than ever.

If a disaster struck would you know what to do? What would you grab if you had to evacuate your home? Chances are your cell phone would be near the top of the list.

Smart phones can provide life saving information, help you locate emergency shelter; even learn life saving functions like CPR.

"People in the emergency management arena saw that as an opportunity and saw that as an opportunity to spread the word,"

Agencies like GEMA, Fema and Red Cross are among those that have emergency preparedness apps free for folks to download on their smartphones or computers. Tift County EMA director Jason Jones, says even Code Red now has an app that help alert folks of emergencies even if they aren't at home.

"If you use the code red app, it uses the GPS function on your phone wherever you are currently located," said Jones

In fact, now folks are getting information even if they didn't sign up for it.

"If you received an amber alert and you said why did I get that they can push that data to you unsolicited, and get it to you without even asking for it. Whether it be amber alert or GPS technology on your phone," stated Jason Jones.

An App eliminates an internet search. This makes information more readily available when time is limited.

"You search for it, you locate the app, and it's there whenever you need it," said Jones

Apps can help folks in the Emergency Management arena too.

"The app I depend on is the WALB interactive forecast app. That's how I check the weather," said Jones.

In addition the WALB app, Jones says the Red Cross app and Gema app have helped give him a greater awareness. 

In preparing a kit, you need more than just food and water.

"Where are your important documents, do you have a copy of your insurance policy for your house? If something catastrophic happened to your home, how do you prove who you are," said Jones

Also, there are apps that help prepare a plan for your pets as well.

And even your phone can serve as an important tool in your disaster kit. You can take a picture of important medical information, like your medicines in case you run out.

The first step is downloading the apps, and familiarizing yourself with what all is needed. Then, build a kit slowly, adding an item or two every week.

But the most important thing, is getting started because as we all know, disaster can strike at the blink of an eye.

 

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