Next time there's a widespread emergency in Portage County, residents will be able to get updated information and advice on their computer or smart phone.
The county Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced the launch Sept. 24 of "Portage Prepares," a website with links to Twitter and Facebook to inform county residents before and during emergencies. The launch recognizes the importance and speed of social media for people to get important information.
The Portage County commissioners made the announcement at the county emergency Operations Center in Shalersville as part of National Preparedness Month. The Facebook page is "Portage Prepares." It will be tweeting @PortagePrep.
Annette Petranic, interim director of the county EMA office, said "residents can go to the online site any time to see the latest information about how to be safe andprepare for the types of emergencies that occur here in northeast Ohio."
The site includes links to other agencies and a newsletter on a variety of safety topics, designed by Becky Lehman, health educator for the Potage County Health Department. They are one-page lessons on how keep safe during different types of emergencies.
People without computers or smart phones can call the county EMA at 330-297-3607 or 1-800-772-3799 to have a copy of the issue sent to them.
In times of no emergency, the web page and social media will direct residents to links on how to build a home emergency kit, make a family plan and learn more about how to best deal with emergencies.
When the county Emergency Operations Center opens for a widespread emergency, the sites will be used to give residents immediate and accurate information about the emergency from sources including the county Emergency Management Agency, the Portage County Sheriff's Office, health departments, and local communities. The sites also could include information from the Ohio EMA and federal EMA, depending on the scope of the disaster.
As part of the announcement, Kent State University's Flash, Hiram College's Terrier and Northeast Ohio Medical University's Nate mascots helped assemble an example of a home disaster preparedness kit, which was donated to Freedom House, a residential facility for veterans in Kent.
Portage Prepares is the result of a year-long collaboration of county and local agencies, offices and volunteers.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4154
Facebook: Mike Sever, Record-Courier