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Last Weekend Was A Disaster

“Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes ‘€” lately, it seems like there’s a new natural disaster wreaking havoc on poor planet Earth every week,” says Mollie Vandor on In Nyack, we could add a February snowicane and last weekend’s devastating storm that snapped tall trees like toothpicks and left thousands without power for days.

“But when it comes to natural disasters, modern technology is making it easier than ever to take control by creating your own emergency response system,” says Vandor, a Los Angeles based Website product manager. “There are tons of tools to help you create emergency preparedness plans, keep in touch during a disaster and get your life back after one strikes. Nothing will keep you safer or saner during a natural disaster than having a good plan in advance.”

Vandor offers tips on how tech can help you plan for unplanned and get your life back in order afterwards.

Create a plan which includes escape routes, family communications, utility shut-off and safety, insurance and vital records, special needs, caring for animals and safety skills. There’s a free ICE (In Case Of Emergency) app Android and iPhones users can download to tell first responders critical medical and legal info they may need to know.

Get Your Life Back: If your house burned down, how would you restart your life? Do you have contact info in a safe and convenient place outside of your home? Does losing your house mean you will lose all of your digital life — family photos, critical documents?One easy and FREE solution is to get a GMail, Yahoo or Hotmail account — and don’t give it out to anyone. With lots of space online for free, you can send digital copies of everything you don’t want to lose to this personal archive. Just make sure you create a secure password for this space — so you don’t turn a disaster preparedness exercise into a identity theft opportunity.

What You Should Expect: Check the FEMA website for good suggestions on how to prepare for the worst. Don’t assume that FEMA is only for hurricane victims and earthquake survivors. One of the rationales for rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge is that the current structure wasn’t built to withstand the earthquakes which occasionally do happen here.

Out Of Tech Touch: Although tech can help you prepare, it can also leave you stranded. Print out all of your critical information and put it in a safe deposit box or another dependable location outside of where you live. You might live your life on smartphone — but think smart and prepare for life without it, just in case.

Mollie Vandor writes for She is also the Product Manager for and Media Director for Girls in Tech LA.

See also:

Photo Credit: Matthew Ciuccio

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