High-tech tools such as smart phones, mobile apps and social media sites are quickly become part of many people's arsenals in dealing with an emergency—such as Hurricane Isaac—and its aftermath, says the American Red Cross.
The non-profit safety organization said its latest online survey finds that about 20 percent of Americans have gotten some types of emergency information from a smart phone app. Services such as the Wireless Emergency Alerts and Facebook can keep them informed about facts—road closures and weather conditions—regarding their local situation.
What's more, 76 percent of "emergency social users" expect help to arrive in three hours after posting a plea through social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Forty percent of Americans said they've used the power of social media to assure others of their safety during an emergency. Both figures are up—68 and 24 percents, respectively—from responses to a similar Red Cross survey last year.
TV, radio, and online are still major sources of emergency news, says the American Red Cross. And safety experts at Consumer Reports note that mobile devices can be helpful—but are susceptible to failure during and after disasters, too.
- Weather watches and warnings and when to worry
- Tips from the FCC and FEMA for keeping in touch when disaster strikes
- Prepare yourself for common costly calamities
- What to pack in an emergency kit
- Be prepared for any emergency
More Americans Using Mobile Apps in Emergencies [American Red Cross]