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Preparedness for Procrastinators: Step 2-other crucial resources to stay informed

Last week I detailed how you can get signed up for CodeRED. It’s the most important step locally to be informed about potential disasters. If you missed last week, were too lazy, or too busy or had some other lame excuse, why don’t you go there now and do it. You can thank me later after you survive some horrendous apocalyptic disaster.

First way: go to Lincoln County’s web site The CodeRED tab is on the left side, easily visible. Click on it. Takes about five minutes to fill in the information.

Second way: Text LCWY to 99411. You’ll receive a link back. The link takes you to Lincoln County’s web site and the same CodeRED tab.

Here are several other ways to get information in the event of an emergency. Stephen Malik, explained that “The best way to get quick information is on CodeRED. As a follow-up, in the following minutes and hours, it’s important to go to one of these Facebook pages and they’ll put out more detailed information as they get it.”

Important Note: Lincoln County will put a notification on its website of any emergencies, but it will just direct you to their Facebook page for information, so it’s better to just connect on the Facebook page directly. It’ll save you a step. Also, during an emergency, websites can become overwhelmed by too much traffic and stop functioning.

I went to each of these links below and liked them, so I’ll get notifications as they send them out. That took about a minute for each. Lincoln County/Office Homeland Security Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Lincoln County Public Health

If you’re not on Facebook, you can still go to these links and bookmark them in your internet browser. (Make sure and bookmark their Facebook page.) I did it, and took me just about a minute for each.

Finally, there are several other notification systems you’ll want to know about.

IPAWS/WEA – Integrated Public Alert & Warning System / Wireless Emergency Alerts – These systems allow us to activate the Emergency Alert System (radio/TV) and WEA sends alerts to cell phones within the specified area. Recent Amber Alerts have used the WEA system.

Note: If you receive Amber Alerts on your phone, you are connected to the IPAWS system. You don’t need to sign up, although in your settings you can turn this off.

NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio – This system requires a special radio receiver, and when activated, will play an alert tone on the receiver, followed by the message. Not all weather radios can receive alerts, and consumers should look for the Public Alert or NWR logo to ensure alert capability. Many of these radios have backup battery capability, solar charging, or hand crank operation capabilities that allow them to work when the power is out.

Outdoor Sirens – These are activated by Sheriff’s Dispatchers to alert the public to an emergency.
Local Media & Broadcast Systems – This includes local Newspaper, Radio or TV media, where available. This can also include posting information on websites.

Mobile Device Applications with alerting capability – These apps are built to receive notifications on your mobile device when an alert is activated in your area. Some examples include: CodeRED Mobile, FEMA App, American Red Cross App, Weather Apps.

This concludes the first segment of our Preparedness for procrastinators series: Be informed. Next week, we’ll begin the steps for you to put together a Plan.