FCC and FEMA Help Consumers Prepare for Disasters With Wireless Technology

Wireless technology is invaluable for consumers and public safety personnel, especially during emergencies.

For those of us who were on the East Coast last month during the earthquake and Hurricane Irene, millions of used their wireless devices to let their loved ones know they were safe or contact 911 for help. Many also used their mobile devices for the latest news and to share what they saw via text message, tweets or Facebook updates.

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released their tips to help educate consumers about what they should to be prepared before, during and after disasters.

In addition, FEMA recently released an Android app to help people prepare for emergencies. The app will be available soon for Apple and RIM wireless device users.

The app includes:

  • A checklist of items to have in your family’s emergency kit;
  • Your family’s emergency meeting locations;
  • Safety tips on what to do before, during and after a disaster;
  • A map of shelters and disaster recovery centers across the U.S.; and
  • The latest blog updates from FEMA.

FEMA also has a text message service that features disaster safety tips and a list of shelters and disaster recovery centers in your area.

  • Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to sign up to receive monthly disaster safety tips.
  • Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345). For availability of shelters and services, contact your local emergency management agency.
  • Text DRC + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest disaster recovery center in your area (for example, if you lived in Washington, D.C. with a zip code of 20036, you’d text DRC 20036).

About The Author


  1. avatar Sharon Wentland
  2. avatar sheila and dr bruce hunter