In today’s world, there is a mind-boggling number of information sources all around us. There are apps, websites, social media, TV, video streaming services, radio and newspapers. It is critical to know which sources to trust when you or your family are at risk during a natural disaster or another emergency.

The Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) is one source of authorized information. It is the State of Arizona’s official platform for emergency updates, preparedness advice, hazard information and related resources. In addition to the website, you can follow AzEIN on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogger.

Trusted sources in a disaster include also include government officials, established news organizations, and first responders. During a response, staff from a wide variety of agencies work together to make sure messages and instructions are consistent, accurate and timely. This is especially relevant when the public must take protective action or be evacuated. The Arizona Department of Health Services website contains contact information for county health departments, poison control, and other key response partners.

Social media can be the fastest way to spread information in an emergency, but be cautious. Non-official sources may have good intentions, but not all the facts.

It’s important to identify these information sources before you’re in the middle of an emergency or disaster. As National Preparedness Month, September is a good time to start. You can also find general information to prepare for many of the hazards facing Arizonans. Click here to view information on extreme weather, flooding and other public health concerns. Stay informed and stay safe.