Barb Ayers, Hood River County Emergency Program manager, added a timely update to her column in the Sept. 26 News on emergency preparedness. In it, she said:
Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider these questions when making a plan:
- How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
- How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
- How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work
- How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
- How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?
Ayers reminded readers, “The Hood River County Citizen Alert system is the system just used to reach folks about the fire in Indian Creek on Sunday, the one 911 uses for all local emergencies — as an individual, business or family, you can opt in for fire info, emergency alerts, or more — and you can put in your cell phone, email, landline, etc., in the order you want to be notified,” Ayers said.
“The system is activated by 911 in the event of an emergency — the system will try to contact you until you confirm you got the message, which is really important in an emergency like a fire or evacuation. Because it’s an opt-in system for folks without landlines, we can’t reach them if they don’t sign up. We find we get a lot more signups right after an emergency like the fire, so the time is really great now if there is any chance you can send a reminder to folks on stories about the fire or other hazards.”
Sign up at www.co.hood-river.or.us.
Among the easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:
Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings: Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting www.ready.gov/alerts.
Discuss family/house-hold plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go: Plan in advance so that everyone understands where to go during different types of disaster, like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire.