Seattle, Wash. -- Pick your disaster: Volcanic lava, ash storms and lahars; earthquakes and tsunamis; hurricanes; tornadoes, winter storms and floods . . . even wildfire and mudslides--they're online, at http://www.fema.gov. With the click of a mouse, browsers can prioritize risks, find affordable mitigation measures and access emergency preparedness tips.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) web site is updated daily, and even includes fresh audio from federal, state, and volunteer agency officials with the latest on federal disasters, emergency programs, and weather updates. The audio clips are posted from the FEMA Radio Network (FRN) using Real Audio technology, and are updated daily. You'll need a sound card, but the "Real Audio" software can be downloaded for free.
"FRN Online allows us to post real-time disaster updates within hours of recording the FEMA Radio Network newsfeed," says FEMA deputy regional director Ray Williams. "Internet users can now access real-time news 'as it happens,' in the original words of disaster officials and program experts. There's even a special section, 'FEMA Kids' to help educate children on emergency preparedness."
The FEMA web pages average over one million "hits" every week, with the Y2Ksection rapidly approaching "most accessed" section. Preparedness information is also available through FEMA's 24-hour FAX-on-Demand service, at (202) 646-FEMA, and a variety of printed material, including brochures, pamphlets and emergency preparedness checklists is available through local emergency management offices and local chapters of the American Red Cross.