Twitter, texting could help families in disasters

Sep 01, 2009 By NATASHA T. METZLER , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Text messaging, Twitter and social networking Web sites could help families stay in touch in the wake of a disaster, a national safety group said Tuesday.

The Safe America Foundation announced a campaign to train families about alternate ways of staying in touch if traditional communication methods are not working. The Atlanta-based group is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on this "Drill Down for Safety" program to make people more aware of communication options during an emergency.

"In an emergency traditional phone lines may be down and traditional methods of communication may not be working," said spokeswoman Carla Shaw. "We want people to rehearse what would you do, and what other forms of communication would you have at your disposal."

She said drill participants should pre-load emergency messages onto their cell phones and pre-load useful communication Web sites, making these tools accessible in an emergency. Families should also discuss how they plan to use these tools and let each other know what types of signals to look for during a disaster, she added.

The organization's Web site offers a tutorial in emergency text messaging and may offer more tools in the future, according to Shaw.

More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in drills of alternative emergency communication tools starting on Sept. 11 and lasting through mid-October.

Some participants are individuals who pledged to practice disaster communication on Safe America's Web site. Others are employees of companies such as UPS, Motorola and Office Depot that plan to hold safety drills and training sessions.

---

On the Net: http://www.safeamericaprepared.org

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

F4W tactical net deployed for storm relief

Sep 02, 2005

A Florida firm has deployed an emergency voice-data broadband network for use by emergency agencies involved in hurricane-relief efforts in Mississippi.

Report says U.S. ERs in crisis

Jun 15, 2006

The Institute of Medicine in Washington says the U.S. emergency care system is fragmented and severely compromised in its ability to handle disasters.

Doctors' orders lost in translation

Jul 17, 2008

When patients are discharged from the emergency department, their recovery depends on carefully following the doctors' instructions for their post care at home. Yet a vast majority of patients don't fully understand what ...

Frail elderly disaster

May 18, 2009

Planning for emergencies must take into account the growing numbers of frail elderly people who will by virtue of shifting demographics be involved in any natural or manmade disaster, according to US researchers writing in ...

Recommended for you

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

14 hours ago

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

15 hours ago

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.