Since this is only the second day of 2020 National Preparedness month, we needed to focus in on your plans before, during, and after an emergency.
On the regular, I get TONS of calls/inquiries from people trying to figure out what’s going on. Many of our friends/families can glean this same info I get from the mass notification systems already in place.
The City of Chicago (IL) Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has an easy system called NotifyChicago.
By inputting your information and particular way to be contacted, you can get the most up-to-date information about any part of the city. This includes warnings, hazards, and of course major street closures due to riots, protests, or other weird things that happen in Chicago. Choosing to be notified via text message ensures that no matter where you are, you can be alerted to dangers in your area 24/7. Subscribe for free here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/alertchicago/svcs/notifychicago.html
At the county level, DuPage County (IL) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) uses the Smart911 system which is a mass notification system to alert anyone on issues at the county level.
This could include severe weather, road closures, as well as critical information for anyone living/working in the area. You can sign up here: https://www.smart911.com/
From the region:
I rely heavily on our partners from the National Weather Service. While not the primary way, I think their social media work on Twitter is excellent and pull lots of info from them using the alert feature (notifications on) function on Twitter.
Consider following Mike Bardou and the crew from the NWS Chicago or follow your own local NWS office for immediate weather info. There are 122 Weather Forecasting Offices across our great nation.
More details can be found here: https://www.weather.gov/srh/nwsoffices
And finally, with the amount of info and the onslaught of information being pushed to our mobile devices, it’s good to know that IF it’s too much, you can always unsubscribe to any these services.
IF you have family in other parts of the country, consider subscribing to their area notifications. Doesn’t hurt to help a loved one out as they maybe be too busy, sleeping, or incapable of understanding the severity of their situation. More on that tomorrow.
Keep it safe during this first week of National Preparedness Month by making your plan!