12 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Utilizing Your Cellphone in an Emergency

In recent disasters, including the Oklahoma tornados in May and the hurricane that smashed the Jersey shore back in October 2012, cell phones have been an invaluable resource for disaster survivors.

Photo credit: http://www.cbc.ca/

FEMA shares some tips to making your cell phone an emergency resource:

  • Create an emergency contact list – Some cell phones allow you to create contact groups, making it easy to send a single text message to a group after an emergency.  The same list theory is applicable to many social networking sites too, allowing you to share your status following a disaster.
  • Store useful phone numbers – Check the numbers for your emergency contacts to make sure they’re up to date.  Be sure to save the contact information for your local police and fire departments, as well as your utility companies.
  • Stay up to date via Twitter without an account – Twitter is becoming an important vehicle for information before, during and after a disaster.  One of the common misconceptions is that people need a Twitter account to receive updates. In fact, you can receive updates straight from Twitter simply by utilizing your phone’s text messaging capability.
  • Bookmark useful mobile sites – If your cell phone has Internet access, take advantage of mobile websites that are formatted to display information within a mobile browser.  The National Weather Service, Center for Disease Control and FEMA are the suggested mobile sites to bookmark.
  • Backup your battery – This may not be a tip for using your cell phone, but having a solar charger (like the BoostSolar) in your emergency kit will ensure you can use your device if the power stays out for an extended period of time.

Cell phones are becoming more and more valuable to our lives – providing Internet access, access to our favorite social networking sites and updates latest weather forecast. What are some additional tips to add to FEMA’s lineup of emergency cell phone suggestions?

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