Portsmouth residents should know that Portsmouth Emergency Management has added several new sources of public information on potential emergency issues. Partially in response to widespread criticism about their performance during Tropical Storm Irene last year, Portsmouth EMA has taken the advice of some concerned residents to utlilize the internet and social media to communicate to and from local residents about emergency situations. The current track of Hurricane Sandy, for example, is currently well south of us but has a potential to affect our area with hurricane or tropical storms conditions by mid-next week. Portsmouth EMA is already on the case, posting bulletins of Sandy's progress on their website and Facebook pages.
The best way to stay tuned to such bulletins is to check Portsmouth EMA's website at www.portsmouthemergency.com periodically and clicking on the BLOG tab. This website also includes a downloadable PDF of the Town's Emergency Preparedeness Brochure which provides information about how to prepare for a storm, important telephone numbers and information about the Aquidneck Island Red Cross Shelter at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown.
Two new social media are available to get emergency bulletins as well as providing means for the public to communicate back to the Portsmouth EMA Public information team. The Facebook page can be accessed from your Facebook account by searching for portsmouthemergency. If you "like" the portsmouthemergency facebook page, you will receive periodic updates automatically to your Facebook account. Likewise, by "following" the @portsmouthemerg Twitter, Portsmouth EMA Twitter feeds will automaticaly be sent to your Twitter account. During a storm, a newly formed Internet Public Information team will be actively monitoring these media in Portsmouth's Emergency Operations Center for information coming in from the public on current problems and evoloving situations.
Portsmouth's new "Code Red" system allows the Town Emergency Management leadership to make "reverse 911" calls to all Portsmouth residents or a selected neighborhood, but this system should be considered to be the equivalent of an 'air raid siren" according to EMA Director John King, and will be used judiciously and only when threats are imminent (as in the case of a mandatory evacuation, for example) and should be taken very seriously. For general Emergency information, the new communications systems discussed above should be utilized to keep informed of evolving emergency situations.
Watch the attached Special Edition video of Portsmouth this Week to learn more about Portsmouth Emergency Management.