Are you prepared for emergency?

In Barriere, there will be a display set up during Emergency Preparedness Week on May 10

We rely on technology more and more to keep in touch with our family, friends, and colleagues with the click of a button.

But what happens in the event of a major emergency?

Suddenly, these tools can become vital in helping you and your family deal with it, get in touch, and stay informed.

Here are some tips on the use of technology in an emergency:

• If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media.  These use less bandwidth than voice communications and may work even when phone service doesn’t.

• If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.  This will also conserve your phone’s battery.

• Unable to complete a call?  Wait 10 seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.  Note, cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage.  If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.

• Keep extra batteries or a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit.  Consider getting a solar-powered, crank or vehicle phone charger.  If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.

• Keep your contacts up to date on your phone, email and other channels.  This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, your child’s school, or insurance agent.

• If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s) on its mapping application.

• Conserve your smartphone’s battery, by reducing the screen’s brightness, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using.  You never know how long a power outage will last.

Remember, in an emergency or to save a life, call 9-1-1 for help.  You cannot currently text 9-1-1.  if you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1.  If you area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.

In Barriere, there will be a display set up during Emergency Preparedness Week on May 10, from 2-5 p.m. next to AG Foods.  As well as the Barriere Emergency Support Services group, representatives will be present from Barriere Search and Rescue, the Ambulance Service, Barriere Volunteer Fire Department, the R.C.M.P. and the Chu Chua Volunteer Fire Department.

Come out and meet these groups and learn from them what you should do in the event of an emergency.