The best protection in any emergency is knowing what to do, whether at home, at work, in the car or out-of-town on vacation. That’s why the Office of Emergency Management is encouraging you to take some time this week to review and update preparedness plans or create one if you don’t have one already.
Emergency Preparedness Week takes place this week from May 6-12 in Ottawa to provide an opportunity to practice preparedness and ensure that everyone is ready in the event of an emergency.
This year’s theme, Be Emergency Ready – Stay Connected, focuses on staying informed and connected before, during, and after emergencies. We rely heavily on technology to keep in touch, but what happens in the event of a major emergency?
Here are some tips:
- If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media. These use less bandwidth than voice communications and may work even when phone service does not.
- If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family. This will also conserve your phone’s battery.
- Unable to complete a call? Wait 10 seconds before redialingto help reduce network congestion. Note, cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage. If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
- Keep extra batteries or a charger for your mobile devicein your emergency kit. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank, or vehicle phone charger. If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.
- Keep your contacts up to dateon your phone, email and other channels. This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, child’s school, or insurance agent.
- If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s)on its mapping application.
- Conserve your smartphone’s batteryby reducing the screen’s brightness, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using. You never know how long a power outage will last!
For more information on emergency preparedness, please visit the City of Ottawa website.