In the News: How to Get Disaster Information
Trusted media sites and social media are good sources for local information, breaking news and weather updates during and after natural disasters. Here are some ways to use the media to your best advantage.
WHN TIP – Red Cross Apps: Download the Red Cross Emergency app to monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts.
WHN TIP – Get the FEMA App: Download the free FEMA Alert App to get severe weather alerts, maps of disaster resources and other helpful information in case of natural disasters. Information is in English and Spanish and available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices.
Newspaper – online, apps and old-fashioned
Your newspaper will include shelter locations, volunteer opportunities, evacuation information and emergency services’ hotline numbers.
- After a natural disaster or major event, papers often feature information on how to work with FEMA, the Red Cross and other community resources.
- Weather information can be found online, via apps, and on the back page of a major section of most newspapers.
- Check the newspaper’s site for up-to-the-minute info.
- TV stations, their sites, social media outlets and apps (if they have one) announce advisories, warnings and natural disaster updates for the community as well as post-event information you may need.
- Local and national stations send camera crews to cover news after a disaster.
- After a natural disaster or major event, local television stations’ website and social media often link to FEMA, the Red Cross and other community resources.
WHN Expert TIP – Lights, Camera … If you are approached by a news reporter, it is completely up to you if you want to talk or not. If you start an interview, you can always stop it.
- Radio stations, their sites, social media outlets and apps (if they have one) announce advisories, warnings and natural disaster updates for the community as well as post-event information you may need.
- After a natural disaster or major event, radio station websites and social media channels often feature information on how to work with FEMA, the Red Cross and other community resources.
- Remember that news organizations are posting information constantly, so some of it may not be accurate and will change as the outlet gets new information.
- If you are in a disaster yourself, don’t use your cell phone if at all possible. You’ll need to keep the battery at its full level as long as possible if power is out. Use e-mail once to inform family, friends and colleagues of whereabouts and updates. Or, text one person and ask them to email family and friends. Alternatively, if you have a Facebook page, post that you’re OK.
- When the power is out at home and your phone or tablet needing charging, locate the nearest, safe outlet for charging.
WHN Staff TIP – Out of Power: If your phone’s battery is dead, you can’t access your Contact List. Keep an up-to-date Family Contact List in your e-mail draft folder or inside your wallet ready for emergencies. At the very least, this list should include names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. A portable battery charger or power bank can charge your phone when electricity is down. Just make sure that it’s fully charged!
- Remember, your local authorities and officials might have more about up-to-date information than the above sources.
- Ask them for best routes, weather information, when to evacuate and when to return home.
For More Information
- Directory of USA Television Stations
- TV Station Web Page Directory
- USNPL: Newspapers
- US Newspapers Online
Photo Credit: Jay Clark