How to Stay Connected When Disaster Strikes

Nov 4, 2020 | Property Damage

Staying connected in an emergency situation is imperative to the crucial decision-making involved in remaining safe. Many metropolitan areas, such as the City of Houston, have emergency notification systems in place that deliver critical information to residents regarding current conditions, expected impacts, and protective actions to help you adjust your disaster plans as situations change.

In addition to notification alerts, community involvement is an effective way to stay connected in the face of a natural disaster. Various Houston-area emergency preparedness programs, events, and organizations provide the

Wireless Emergency Alerts

Authorized government agencies can send short text alerts directly to your phone based on your current location. These alerts happen automatically and do not require you to sign up. To manage these alerts, check your phone’s messenger settings. Learn more at ready.gov/alerts.

AlertHouston
Staying informed through emergency notifications helps make sure you know what to expect in an emergency, and what to do to stay safe. AlertHouston offers emergency alerts through email, text message, a mobile app, and social media. Sign up at houstonemergency.org.

CitizensNet
Want to know more about disaster preparedness and receive news and information from city departments that are of interest to you? Sign up for CitizensNet at houstontx.gov/citizensnet.

Apps

American Red Cross Shelter App
Contains emergency shelter information. Updated only when shelters are opened.

The Ready App
Emergency preparedness information for the Houston region.

Houston 3-1-1 App
Report non-emergency situations to Houston 3-1-1 from your phone.

You can find these apps and more at houstonemergency.org.

Get Involved

Communities that plan together, and work together before a disaster, are better prepared to help each other during a disaster. Get involved in your community throughout the year, meet your neighbors, and make connections.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)
CERT classes are available in neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools to train individuals in basic disaster response skills, such as fire suppression, search and rescue operations, and medical care. This awareness-level course helps residents take a more active role in emergency preparedness by providing skills that allow neighbors to come together and assist one another until local agencies can step in.

For more information on the training program (a series of eight three-hour sessions) and scheduled classes, visit houstoncert.org.

Neighborhood Ready Houston Program
The Ready Houston program offers a 90-minute training class called Neighborhood Ready, which is facilitated by you or a member of your community. The course covers topics such as determining neighborhood readiness, understanding disaster impact, making a plan, and keeping yourself and your neighbors informed.

Meeting Kit
Ready Houston will send you a meeting kit free of charge that includes a facilitator guide providing tips and suggestions to help make the presentation unique to you and your group. The kit also includes a number of items to help you effectively conduct your training session including a DVD, discussion guides, notepads, pens and safety lights.

To obtain your kit, please visit readyhoustontx.gov/neighborhood-ready/training-and-resources.

National Night Out
Throughout Texas, the first Tuesday in October is when neighbors come together to introduce themselves to one another, get to know the local law enforcement officers and emergency responders who patrol their area, and help make their communities safer. To learn more about National Night Out in your community, visit houstonpolice.org, contact your local law enforcement agency, or check your neighborhood’s page on Nextdoor.com.

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