We at the Division of Emergency Management will neither confirm nor deny that some of our households may be obsessed with Pokemon Go. However, as we’ve observed the phenomenon, we’ve noticed that some things players can do to increase their enjoyment of the game can also increase their disaster preparedness. We’re firm believers that the best preparedness tools are the ones with which you’re already familiar through regular use, so in that spirit…
Have a way to charge your cell phone on the go. Pokemon Go’s use of your phone’s GPS receiver can quickly drain your battery. Having an external power pack or a solar charger can keep you going longer, whether you’re hunting Psyduck or in the middle of a power outage.
Take the opportunity to rotate your emergency food and water. Even shelf-stable food has a “best if eaten by” date. On your way out the door, grab a bottle of water and a couple of energy bars from your stash – and put replacements on the grocery list. If you don’t have that stash, make a note to start building one. With summer heat and humidity, it’s important to stay hydrated on the way to the PokeGym – or while clearing debris from the next severe thunderstorm.
Test your gear. If you have a “go-bag” or “bug-out bag” in backpack format, carry it on your next expedition. It’s good exercise and it’ll show you if your pack is adjusted incorrectly or has poor weight distribution.
Get to know your surroundings. In case of emergency, can you find every way out of your neighborhood? Do you know where the nearest rail lines, highways, and hazardous industrial chemical sites are? Where will you meet up with your family if you become separated during an emergency? Between PokeStops, take a minute to check out what’s around you. Just remember to respect others’ property and privacy.