Preparing for Emergencies
Traditional means of communication may be limited during a widespread emergency situation. It is important that you identify several different ways to communicate with your family and friends and are able to receive information from local officials.
Emergency Communication Tips
- Avoid making non-emergency (non-life safety) calls.
- Cell phone networks are often overwhelmed during an emergency; do not rely on using your cell phone for calls.
- Designate an out-of-area contact person. Family members should call this person to report their location if they cannot reach each other. Provide your contact person with important names and numbers, so they can assist in keeping others informed about your situation. Let friends and family know who your contact is, so they can contact them in an emergency and check on you.
- Have a battery-operated radio and weather alert radio.
- Identify locations where you will meet up or attempt to contact each other if you are unable to get to your home or neighborhood. For example, meet at your neighbor’s house if you can’t use your home or the parking lot of school if your neighborhood is evacuated.
- Keep coins and important contact information in your go bag for pay phones, which often have service restored before residential customers.
- Long distance lines often work, even if local phone lines do not.
- Make sure everyone in your household knows important emergency contact information.
- Make sure you have at least one phone in your home that does not require electricity to work. Cordless phones and most business phone systems require electricity.
- Program an "in case of emergency" point of contact into your cell phone.
- Text messaging on cell phones sometimes works, even when the network is overwhelmed.