Natural disasters are becoming a regular part of our lives due to global warming. As floods, landslides, cloud bursts, cyclones and other disasters become more frequent and intense, the possibility of getting caught in such dangerous events looms large. Technology can prove to be a boon in such situations. With just a few simple tips, you can make it much easier on yourself and authorities in case you are ever trapped in any natural disaster.
Having your equipment on hand
No matter if you are travelling, at home or just making a small visit, having a set of common tools handy will always improve your chances when caught in a dangerous situation. Always keep an emergency kit prepared in your vehicle or your travel bag when you are travelling. For your home kit, you can have a more comprehensive supply kept along with essential documents that you cannot afford to lose. Portable water filters, a knife, a multi-purpose tool, some rope, water bottles, thermal blankets. Flashlight, a first aid kit and a way to make a fire are often essentials that one should have.
The final tool that you should have on you is your smartphone or any other device that you can use to contact the authorities. Keep your documents and cash in a waterproof satchel or bag that you carry along with your kit.
Being aware of disasters
It seems now no place is insured against natural disasters. While no one can plan for freak calamitous events, you should be ready for the usual suspects like earthquakes. You should be mindful of the correct steps to take in those emergency situations. For example, knowing that finding cover is the most important step when in an earthquake or finding high ground in case of a tsunami. Having a good plan to get out of the area safely is also important and most modern-day navigation apps can help you plan out escape routes.
Keeping your smartphone prepared
You can also help first responders by keeping your location services turned on in case of emergencies. This is especially important if an event is going to disrupt network lines as it progresses, like cyclones and floods. You can enable location services for emergency services by going to Locations > Security and location > Location > Location > Advanced > Emergency Location Services and enabling the option.
You must have the option selected before network lines are disconnected. With this option enabled, your location will be automatically shared with emergency services when you call them.
Keep all your details saved
You can set up medical IDs on iPhones and add emergency information to the lockscreen of your Android devices. This can help responders who find you if you are unconscious or unresponsive.
You can set this up using the Health app on your iPhone. For Android devices, navigate to Settings > About > Emergency information, where you can add all the relevant details that you wish to.
Another thing that you should set up on your phone is save the emergency response numbers. While this might not be as important if disaster strikes while you are at home or in a region that is familiar to you, you may not remember important numbers if you are caught in a natural disaster while out on a trip.
Finally, certain apps and services can prove to be useful in emergencies. Apps that can let you use your smartphone as a walkie talkie, or a compass, or those that can identify edible vegetation in an area can prove to be helpful when you are stuck in an emergency situation. It is important to research the apps that you download before trusting them.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First Published: IST