If you haven’t tuned in to your Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management lately, you might not be aware of some of its basic tools designed to protect citizens and property in emergency situations.

Most people around the county normally associate the Emergency Management Division of county government with hurricanes. And now that hurricane season has past, interest in and heed of hurricane activities and related services tend to subside with it.

But hurricanes, which are pretty much confined to a seasonal pattern, are far from the only disaster that can affect the community. Floods, fire, industrial accidents, earthquakes and the like should never be dismissed or trivialized.

In its dedication to addressing such calamities and to give assistance to those affected, SRCDEM has developed technology that can help residents plan for, or emerge from, most any type of disruptive occurrence along these lines. But to use them, it is best to know what they are and how to use them.

Sheryl Bracewell, the director of the county’s emergency management, issued an informative bulletin earlier this year that explains in detail the measures that can be adopted by property owners or managers and residents to prevent or alleviate the traumatic force of such natural or man-made disasters.

Major among the various programs offered by the SRCDEM is the E-breaking News platform, which is, in essence, email and text message notifications. To use this tool, you must register on the county’s website, www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency/publicwarning.html. Following instruction will tell you how to access the program.

Disaster information is also available online at the county’s website. The information there is updated regularly and can be relayed to you via emails. All you have to do is ask to be added to the list. You can do that by accessing joyt@santarosa.fl.gov.

Perhaps the most serviceable program SRCDEM offers is the Reverse 911, a high-speed telephone system used to call homes and businesses in case of emergencies. The program is so sensitive it can call only sections of the county affected by a calamity. It relays a recorded message giving the receiver important information about the disaster and recommends steps to take to protect life and property.

The SRCDEM also has prepared the “2012 Official Santa Rosa County Disaster Preparedness Guide” available online. It’s a 48-page publication that gives valuable information on what to do before, during and after a variety of disaster scenarios. It is available on the web at the same site that gives you E-breaking News.

“Additionally, we highly recommend the purchase of a NOAA weather radio for all homes, businesses and rental properties,” Bracewell said. “It’s an inexpensive tool, and it just might save a life!”