The weekend is a GREAT time to follow these hints to make sure that when the next Tropical Storm Debbie or Meltdown/Heatwave hits, you can still communicate with your friends, family and co-workers!
Originally posted on Business Continuity Planning & Emergency Management:
One of my favorite emergency blogs entitled idisaster2.0 recently asked the question, “are you cell phone ready for an emergency?” What a great question! They gave a list of great suggestions that they pulled from the Fairfax Virginia county EOC after the recent derecho storm that blasted the Mid-Atlantic states. I have taken the liberty of adding on to their list.
- Use all alternatives to voice calls.
- Tell your friends & family you are OK via text, email, Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
- Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available.
- Avoid calling by phone.
- If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1.
- If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1.
- Save all important phone numbers to your phone. Be sure to include local emergency numbers such as the local EOC, utilities status lines and alternates to 9-1-1.
- Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available as back-up power for your cell phone.
- Consider adding a solar or hand crank charger to your stockpile.
- Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power.
- Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion.
- Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
- If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
- Charge your digital camera or buy batteries for your film camera if you need to document storm damage afterwards.
- Develop a family communication plan now.
- Solicit an out-of-state contact person who can act as an intermediary for all communication. Pick an out of state person.
- Give that person the list of folks they are likely to hear from.
- Instruct them in their duties: when an emergency strikes “my” area, be prepared to receive calls from those on the list.
- Ask them when they call: their status, where they are, where they are going and do they have a contact number.
- Be prepared to report their status to me when I call.