‘Tis the Season to Prepare

When you woke up this morning and flipped your calendar to June, the realization that Hurricane Season officially starts today probably didn’t cross your mind. And although we like when things are quiet and disaster-free, we still know how important it is to be ready for any situation that might come our way.

The words “Hurricane Season” kind of carry a gloomy feeling with it, not to mention when you couple them with the predictions for an above-average year. But in an effort to provide some preparedness shortcuts (not to mention add a certain coolness factor), the Red Cross recently developed a free iPhone app that gives the location of all open Red Cross shelters. It’s a pretty impressive thing to see, whether you want to use it to see how the shelters in places like Joplin are doing, or you need to find a local shelter in the event of an evacuation.

If you’d like to get the app, visit the Apple store and search “American Red Cross shelters”. Don’t have an iPhone? No worries, you can see the same information on www.redcross.org, under “Find a Shelter”.  Both the app and the website are updated every 30 minutes, so it’s a great way to stay informed.

The Red Cross Safe and Well website recently got a technological upgrade too: users can now update their Facebook and Twitter status when you register on the site. Safe and Well is a secure site that you can use to (1) list yourself as “okay”, “in a shelter”, “in the process of evacuation” or a number of other options in the aftermath of a disaster and/or (2) search the site to see the status of your loved ones. Think of it as the one-stop-shop for getting the word out to your entire social network.

But as cool as all of this technology is, we still want to remind people to focus on the good ‘ole stockpiling techniques of a Disaster Preparedness Kit. Certainly, you can include things like extra phone chargers and favorite portable games in your kit to keep it geek-ified, but don’t forget basic things like food, water and medications too.

Find out more about how to Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed and start off this Hurricane Season fully prepared!

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