SUMMIT, NJ - During National Preparedness Month in September, the City of Summit is reminding residents and businesses to make disaster preparation a priority, in part by keeping reliable technology on hand, which can potentially save lives.

There are several useful options that could be part of any effective emergency plan. 

FEMA has a very thorough disaster supply list online.  The official FEMA app, lists preparedness information for all types of disasters, and includes emergency kit checklists, maps and a section to plan meeting locations.  The app is available for free on iOS and Android.  

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Consider programming “in case of emergency" numbers in mobile phone contacts, including the Police and Fire Departments.  A hand-crank phone charger could cover a few crucial calls or texts if an extra phone battery is misplaced.  During an emergency, it is important to turn off LTE or Wi-Fi capabilities to conserve battery power.  If battery power is running out, consider leaving a voicemail message explaining that you are safe.  This is an efficient blanket approach for worried friends and family who may try to get in touch.

To locate someone because a call is not going through, try the Lost Person Finder.  It contains a searchable database and is integrated with the U.S. National Library of Medicine's People Locator website. It gathers data from citizens, disaster relief organizations, social networks, and hospitals.  Download the associated ReUnite app, available for free on iOS and Android.

In the case of a major natural disaster, the battery-powered SteriPEN gadget will ensure plenty of clean drinking water.  Shelter View is an app from the Red Cross that helps to locate nearby shelters in real time, including temporary shelters set up in times of need.  It identifies the location of the shelter and its capacity.

iMapWeatherRadio, powered by the National Weather Service, is indispensable for people living in high-risk areas.  It automatically pinpoints a location to provide real-time severe weather alerts, as well as simple weather forecasts. Severe weather can trigger the app, even if a phone is in sleep mode, which will then emit a series of beeps and an audio description of the emergency. 

The City of Summit offers members of the community two options for receiving emergency and other important information.  Swift 9-1-1 is the official emergency alert system for the City of Summit, where people can sign up to receive alerts by voicemail, text, fax, and email. Nixle provides critical and other important non-emergency information by email and text. To sign up for emergency alerts from the City of Summit, visit the City of Summit website at http://cityofsummit.org/emergencymanagement.