ConsumerWatch: Websites To Stay Informed In A Disaster

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — When disaster strikes, there are numerous ways to stay informed and to keep loved ones notified about your whereabouts.

A number of websites allow users to listen in on police scanners and view live street cameras. CNET Editor-At-Large Brian Cooley said while the views are unfiltered, they may not present a full picture of what is going on.

Broadcastify.com allows users to listen in on first-responders radio transmissions. The site calls itself “the world’s largest source of public safety, aircraft, rail and marine safety audio streams.”

For a real-time look at what’s happening on the roadways, Caltrans and many other transportation agencies have put live video from traffic cameras up on the web. Caltrans site is http://video.dot.ca.gov/. The agency said it has 1,000 cameras keeping an eye on freeways across California.

To learn the whereabouts of a loved one who is unaccounted for when disaster hits, Google and the Red Cross both provide up-to-the minute status reports on people at or a near a disaster scene. Google’s Person Finder lists people who have and have not been heard from since Monday’s explosions. The Red Cross’s Safe and Well Registry provides a similar service.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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