FEMA, W.H. send storm victims to Internet


#1

When President Barack Obama urged Americans under siege from Hurricane Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on ready.gov for the latest, he left out something pretty important — where to turn if the electricity goes out.
Despite the heightened expectation of widespread power and cable television failures, everyone from the president to local newscasters seem to expect the public to rely entirely on the Internet and their TVs for vital news and instructions.
None of the major cable or local news channels put emergency phone numbers or key radio station frequencies on their screens. The only phone-related instructions on the homepage of ready.gov is how to get monthly disaster-prep text messages. The Federal Emergency Management Agency told the public via Twitter to use texts and social media outlets to stay informed.

Read more: FEMA, W.H. send storm victims to Internet - Steve Friess - POLITICO.com

Yes sir we have compassion for you–hey lets send in those church people they will** actually help **


#2

Smartphones? Apparently almost half of American adults are smartphone owners, and they won’t go off even if the power is out. Really, the internet is the best way to contact someone if there’s risk of the power going out. What’s the alternative?

When the power goes out, the TV won’t work, the radio won’t work, the computer won’t work. However, your cell phone will work, which is why ready.gov and FEMA are using text messages. And with half of Americans able to get online on their phones, the Internet is your best option for reaching a maximum amount of people.

Actually, the radio may work if you have a battery powered stereo, and rightfully so, ready.gov recommends NOAA weather radio.


#3

[quote=“Trekky0623, post:2, topic:36873”]
Smartphones? Apparently almost half of American adults are smartphone owners, and they won’t go off even if the power is out. Really, the internet is the best way to contact someone if there’s risk of the power going out. What’s the alternative?

When the power goes out, the TV won’t work, the radio won’t work, the computer won’t work. However, your cell phone will work, which is why ready.gov and FEMA are using text messages. And with half of Americans able to get online on their phones, the Internet is your best option for reaching a maximum amount of people.

Actually, the radio may work if you have a battery powered stereo, and rightfully so, ready.gov recommends NOAA weather radio.
[/quote]cell towers use electricity. I know you do not know this but in the storm Katerina cell phones went out. This is why emergency personnel were later equipped with satellite phones. BTW where do you charge those phones without power?


#4

Exactly Sam! If you turn off all apps and put it on powersaver mode you are looking at maybe a 12 hour battery if you don’t use it at all and the cell towers remain functional.


#5

Sorta reminds me of a complaint I heard about one of our area internet companies. Someone called them complaining that they couldn’t get on line - the help desk person said, “Send us an email.”


#6

My phone lasts 48 hours on a charge. I’ll be generous and half that, but that’s still quite a while for the power to come back on, and in that 24 hours, or even 12 hours, you’ll probably get a text message telling you what to do. What’s the alternative when the power is out? Even if the cell phone only lasts 12 hours, it’s still your best bet to get in contact with people, along with NOAA radio. And to Sam, FCC requires backup generators at cell towers.


#7

[quote=“Susanna, post:5, topic:36873”]
Sorta reminds me of a complaint I heard about one of our area internet companies. Someone called them complaining that they couldn’t get on line - the help desk person said, “Send us an email.”
[/quote]Oh, I have been there and done that. Talk about stupid people


#8

And I’m serious, what is the alternative to cell phones? Is there another best way to get in contact with people? The radio seems like the best bet, but ready.gov already recommends that. After the radio, the cell phone is really the best way even if there are chances of it not working, because the chances of using the TV or landline or anything else to contact people in case of a power outage is essentially nil.


#9

From Philly.com:
Many cell towers that are still working are doing so with the help of generators and could run out of fuel before commercial power is restored, the Federal Communications Commission said.

The** landline phone network has held up better in the affected area,** which stretches from Virginia to Massachusetts, the FCC said, but about a quarter of cable customers are also without service.


#10

The problem is many people today don’t have land lines anymore, and the land line will only be helpful if you have an old hardwired phone. The cordless phone will not work in a power outage.


#11

I agree that cellphones are the best alternative but telling people to watch for into on a website is still foolish. What are the chances that people are going to have a fully charged phone? Really for me it is potatoes potatoes. People should be prepared for things like this and not need the government to babywalk them.


#12

Trekky:

what is the alternative to cell phones?

Your own smarts? Your own resources?
Nevermind .gov being the last source I’d look to in an emergency, (and that they already told you to go to the radio, lol), I don’t get this primal need to be in constant contact with others.
(…as I sit here on the internet 'cuz it’s my only contact w/the outside world. LOL)


#13

Same here. When there is some sort of distar of horrible storm heading our way I figure out what is coming and best prepare for it. How long did these people know that Sandy was heading their way?


#14

You can’t use your own smarts to find an evacuation center or FEMA aid. That’s mostly what this is for.


#15

Three or four days, at least?
Jeepers, I wish they could get people half as hyped about going out to vote.

But I guess if the gov. didn’t have a web-site to lead everyone by the nose to the evacuation centers, they’d have disenfranchised all the lonely, homeless, poor people - who probably don’t have the internet to begin with!
Maroons.

And even IF they had the internet - via taxpayer gov’t cell phone - if they didn’t know by that late date where the closest evacuation center was, (how could you NOT?), they’d have been doomed, anyway. Not like a cell phone/internet connection can get them TO the center. Duh.

But, jsyk, like you, when I hear a storm is approaching…

  1. Go to wood shop where camping gear is stored. Grab Coleman stove and lantern. (Of course the fuel for both is on hand.)
  2. Before it gets dark, be sure to have laterns, candles, etc.
  3. IF the power goes out, take milk/juice/whatever frozen jugs out of freezer, and place in fridge; close all doors, and hang blanket over hallway door, to keep heat in front rooms.
  4. If it looks like it’s gonna be a while, fill buckets for flushing, clean ones for cooking/drinking, gather up board and card games. Books come in handy, too.

Takes all of about 20 minutes.
And because our water runs on a pump that takes electricity, it’s wise to see to everyone getting a shower, catch up on laundry, and get the home as spic & span as possible. Makes going w/o power for a week slightly more comfortable that way.

Oh. and do NOT forget to pick up plenty of beer!
:beerchug: