More than two years after Facebook launched its Safety Check tool as a way for users to let their friends and family know they’re okay in a crisis, the social media company is adding a feature that will allow people to ask for help, as well as offer it, when natural disasters or other emergency situations occur. [More]
I didn’t really take the idea of car emergency kits seriously until I bought a neighbor’s old car, and discovered the wealth of supplies for various emergencies that he had left in the trunk and console. Gloves for changing the tire? Check. Can of Fix-A-Flat for Urgent tire emergencies? Check. Disposable camera in case of an accident? Check. (This was before camera phones were popular.) What else should emergency kits for the discerning and slightly paranoid motorist contain? [More]
Being inside a store when the gates clang down and having employees rush you into a back storeroom is bound to be a scary experience. And it was one that was totally unnecessary at a mall in Houston, after mall management accidentally sent an emergency alert to retailers warning of an active shooter on the premises, instead of a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store.
You might know to aim for the brain and that if one bites you, you’re a goner — but how else could you possibly prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Kansas wants its residents to be ready for that — or really, any kind of large scale disaster — and is declaring October “Zombie Preparedness Month” to spread the word. [More]
Depending where you live, you’ll now be able to text 9-1-1 from your cellphone if you for some reason you can’t make that emergency phone call when you need it. The program is rolling out in certain areas now, with expansion to the rest of the country planned by the end of the year. [More]
2013 is gone, a collection of memories never to be dealt with again. Next week, the 113th Congress returns for its second session, ideally to enact legislation throughout 2014, some of which could help consumers if they were to become law. [More]
When is it a moral imperative for a company to make an exception for someone? What if you’re a company that provides subscription-based in-car emergency services, and someone who chose not to subscribe calls you with an emergency?
A few decades ago, it was unimaginable for most of us. Would you have believed that even regular old middle-class people would have a device like the smartphone? It’s about the size of a pack of cards, with hours of battery life, and you can use it in a time of natural disaster to get the latest news, learn about road closings and emergency services, send mass updates to friends and loved ones, and maybe watch TV or play some games. In a pinch, it even makes phone calls. Yes, as long as cell towers are still up and you can charge the battery, a phone is an ideal companion in a natural disaster. The Red Cross confirmed that this week, releasing a survey of American adults that shows more of us are getting our emergency information in app form: then, presumably, playing Angry Birds.
By now, everyone from South Carolina to New England is tracking the cone of possibilities of Hurricane Irene. Will she tack west or go east? Whatever path she takes, it seems pretty certain that a lot of folks are going to get drenched and some may lose power, suffer flooding or worse. A power outage can affect the safety of your food supply but there are some things you can do now to prepare for that possibility.
Emergency room bills bring a special sort of sticker shock, because they don’t usually show up until weeks later, and then come packed with all sorts of over-inflated fees and add-ons. The New York Times calls them “notoriously high and perplexing,” and although it’s unlikely you’ll ever end up paying the full amount listed on the bill, there are strategies you can use to bring that initial figure down.
You can’t expect every person to be up to date on the latest news cycle, especially not on a global scale. But there’s a Virgin Atlantic Airlines CSR who not only somehow missed that Pakistan just suffered its worst flooding in 80 years, but who kept insisting the Elisa, a customer trying to make her way back home to NYC, prove that the flooding happened. Elisa says the CSR “insisted that there were no indications in her notes that a flood had happened in Pakistan,” and that Elisa would have to prove the news or pay $933 for a “service change fee” to get back home.
It’s good to have outside interests. For instance, there’s this 61-year-old flight attendant who works for American Airlines who also happens to have a commercial pilot’s license, which was good news for the pilot–and the 225 passengers–after his first officer went all Airplane! on him mid-flight.
The town of Tracy, California has come up with a new plan to make money: you’ll have to pay between $48-400 to call 911. I wonder if Tracy is planning on giving the caller the bill over the phone–they might be able to chain 911 calls together by giving the first caller a heart attack, thereby prompting someone else to call, and so on. Money!
One day, a California woman woke up to discover her t-shirt soaked in blood. The source? Her breast. She immediately went to the emergency room, and the cause of the bleeding was eventually found to be a benign tumor. However, her health insurance denied the claim, stating that she “reasonably should have known that an emergency did not exist.” Yes, copious amounts of blood flowing from your nipples is really something you want to wait out.
One of the unfortunate things about Crohn’s disease is it can make you need to use the bathroom pretty much immediately, without warning or fanfare. Of course, there’s plenty of fanfare afterward if you can’t find a bathroom, as one longtime customer of Plaid Pantry found out yesterday when she shat her pants in the parking lot after being denied emergency access to their employee toilet.
It’s not the responsibility of a credit card company to take care of you in an emergency, it’s true. But amid the many reports of canceled cards and slashed credit lines we’ve been receiving was the story of Elizabeth, her dog, a veterinary emergency, and a most inauspiciously timed credit line cut.