Preparing for Hurricane Season

Animation of Hurricane KatrineThe City would like to remind everyone that hurricane season is upon us. The season runs from June 1st through November 30th. This year storm prediction is low, but as we all know it only takes one storm to impact our lives and community.

We would like to urge everyone to have a disaster plan and kits in place if you have them please check them and update them. Visit FEMA’s website for step-by-step information and resources for what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Smart Phones & Alerts

Cell phones and mobile devices are a major part of our lives and an essential part of how emergency responders and survivors get information during disasters. According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans have used their smart phone to look up government services or information. Additionally, a majority of smart phone owners use their devices to keep up to date with breaking news, and to be informed about what is happening in their community.

The new weather alert feature adds to existing features in the app to help Americans through emergencies. In addition to this upgrade, the app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, and tips on how to survive natural and man-made disasters. The FEMA app also offers a “Disaster Reporter” feature, where users can upload and share photos of disaster damage.

The app defaults to Spanish language content for smart phones that have Spanish set as their default language. The latest version of the FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices. Users who already have the app downloaded on their smart phones should download the latest update for the new alerts feature to take effect.

Other Resources

The Bay County Emergency Management page offers an embedded twitter feed with up to the minute notifications.  You can also locate flood and evacuation maps so you can plan if you need to evacuate which is the best option for you.

The National Hurricane Center offers information on their website such as all tropical disturbances, storms, and hurricane tracks. There is also a great page on how to prepare before a storm.