September is here. And while that usually marks the start of pumpkin spice everything, now more than ever, it’s important to highlight National Preparedness Month.

The recent devastating events in Houston are a visual reminder of the inevitable force of nature. While we cannot prevent nor control these natural disasters, we can be better prepared to face them. That requires putting in effort.

If you don’t know where to start, download Santa Clara County’s emergency preparedness app “ReadySCC” on your smartphone from the Apple App Store or Google Play. With five simple questions you will be on your way to starting your family emergency plan. The app allows you to set a meeting point for your family, list emergency contacts in and out of town, assign a caretaker for your pet and send status updates to your loved ones during an emergency. You can also get access to a detailed guide with step-by-step instructions for creating an emergency kit, including a shopping list. Another key feature includes advisories and alerts via push notifications. An additional way to receive warnings and notifications is via the county’s free emergency alert system, “AlertSCC.”  When issued, mass notifications from AlertSCC will be delivered via cell phone, landline, email and text (based on your preference).

Screen shots of the ReadySCC App.

For natural disasters, the Red Cross offers a few helpful apps as well. The water district recommends downloading the Red Cross Flood App. This free app is available in English and Spanish and allows you to receive flood and flash flood watches and warning alerts for your location based on the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. Bolster your emergency preparedness with interactive quizzes, step-by-step advice, and flood safety and preparedness tips, including recommended “next steps.” Text “GETFLOOD” TO 90999 or search “Red Cross Flood” in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Screen shots of the Red Cross Flood App. Displayed are tips, quizzes, flood warning information and language settings.

As the flood protection agency for the county, the Santa Clara Valley Water District wants you to prepare as much as possible for the threat of flooding, as well as other hazards. The first step to being flood safe is being prepared for an emergency.

Follow the water district on Facebook and Twitter for tips on emergency preparedness and being flood safe.

 

 

 

 

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