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Emergency alerts of any kind – from tornados to hurricanes to earthquakes and maybe even other emergency situations – are valuable to all of us, and especially those of us in the Sandwich Generation with the extra responsibilities of caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren. I left earthquake country to live in hurricane country, then followed that up with tornado country! No to mention flood country and ice storm country! Where ever you or your senior parents live, there's probably something to watch out for at some time in the year! I just learned some valuable news of interest for this baby boomer granny nanny that is also quite useful for all our seniors.
Did you know that many cities and/or counties around the country are instituting some type of emergency alert notification to their residents, including senior citizens, using home phones and/or cell phones? For example, if there is a major tornado alert in those cities, the police or fire department updates it immediately on their computers, and instantly home and cell phones around the city ring with the information for those signed up. Email notification immediately goes out to the signed-up residents, as well. Isn't that great! I already have alerts coming to my cell phone and my email from a couple of different news stations. Each time I move, I either update that information, or change the radio or tv news station to my new location. But a city-wide alert system is even better, if it's done well. When the police and fire departments get involved to coordinate and expedite the needed information that has to go out by computer to email and cell phones, that should be even speedier than the news station. Now THAT's the kind of emergency alert system I love!
After I spotted a news headline about this that caught my hate-to-admit-to-aging baby boomer eyes, I did some background research and discovered many of the cities that have started this type of program have automatically added in phone numbers that are listed with the phone company. But those families whose phone numbers are unlisted, or who might want their cell phone to be notified, do need to contact their city or follow the links to register at their city's websites.
Needless to say, as soon as I read this, I went to my own city's website and was delighted to find we are offering it. I immediately signed up for it with my own iPhone. Since my senior mom lives with me, I didn't add her Jitterbug senior cell phone number as there is no point in both of us being notified of the same thing. I am, however, planning on notifying a couple of other senior relatives and recommending they sign up with their cell phones as well as their home phones, in case of an emergency occurring while they are out on errands.
I was a bit disappointed to discover one senior's city is not offering it, however I suspect that in the next few years, we'll see most, if not all cities offer this excellent feature. Hopefully, they will also include such vital news alerts as the Amber Alert for kidnapped children, and the Silver Alert for senior citizens with dementia symptoms.
To find out if your city or county offers this valuable news alert system with benefits for your whole Sandwich Generation family from seniors to wee grandkids, you can just call your city office or check their website. I would highly recommend this for everyone – another valuable tool in our Sandwich Generation toolbox! 🙂 And THANK YOU to the cities that have started doing this. I for one REALLY appreciate it and I know many others in the Sandwich Generation will as well!